Organizations provide trees for troops

Christmas trees are loaded onto a Fed-Ex truck for delivery on Nov. 10 to be shipped out to troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan from the Christmas Spirit Foundation. The organization is also planning to send trees to families at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Clarence Plank: Cannon Connections

Christmas Spirit Foundation and Fed-Ex are sending trees to the troops at Cannon Air Force Base and Fort Hood, Texas. Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association is donating 700 evergreens to be shipped sometime this week to the bases for military members and their families.

John Carroll, the national director representative of Virginia for the national Christmas Tree Growers Association Board, said he believes this is the fifth year that the trees have been donated to military families.

“It actually started here in Virginia when some growers took some trees over to Quantico Marine Corps Base,” Carroll said. “Then the national Christmas Tree Growers picked it up and organized it national and internationally.”

The group contacted Fed-Ex to transport the trees to military bases. Out of the 700 trees, 300 are being brought to Cannon Air Force Base military families.

“The growers enjoy it and they get involved in it,” Carroll said. “It is one way we can say thank you to the folks who are serving our country.”

Carroll said the national office calls all the bases and asks if they would like trees donated for military families or if there is a need for it. This is the second year that Cannon has received donated trees, which is done nationally every year to other bases.

“The provider with the trees contacts every Air Force installation to see if we’re interested in participating, then they provide the trees,” Force Support Squadron Marketing Director Yolanda Romero said. “The trees are distributed to needy Air Force families. We primarily give them to the families that are in need first.”

If there are any trees left they are given to anyone who works at the base. Romero said they contacted first sergeants to determine the need for each squadron.

“They have until this Friday to give us that number,” Romero said. “So we really don’t know the number right now.”

Today, they should have the number for how many families are in need and by Monday they will let the rest of the base know if there are any trees left to give away.