JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Outdoor Recreation distributed 400 live Christmas trees Dec. 6 to service members and their families as part of Trees for Troops, an annual Christmas tree giveaway program.
The free Christmas trees were given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, and tree distribution began at noon with spouses of deployed military members being served first. Active duty, Guard and Reserve military members had the opportunity to pick up trees next, while the final time slot was opened up to all Department of Defense ID card holders.
“When I got word they were having Trees for Troops, I made sure to come get in line to get a tree for my family,” said Staff Sgt. Ruby Rivera, a 149th Security Forces Squadron Airman. “Me and my four girls really look forward to decorating the tree today as a family.”
The trees are donated by tree farmers nationwide and the giveaway is made possible through two major corporate sponsors. Several individuals and tree farms from about 20 states have donated trees to the program, allowing them to give out a grand total of 225,319 free trees over the past 15 years.
“Christmas starts with a Christmas tree,” said Marvin Hill, a corporate coordinator for the tree delivery. “We’re proud to be able to show our service members, their families and the veterans in the community how much we really appreciate the sacrifices they make.”
Over the next few weeks, Trees for Troops hopes to deliver 18,000 free trees to more than 74 DOD installations across the country and abroad in all branches of the military.