FORT GORDON, Ga. (WJBF)- Military families could choose between hundreds of trees Thursday evening, and all of them were free.
“It’s a lot of soldiers that really don’t have the opportunity or financial means, you know, to afford a tree for their homes, so it’s something great that they’re doing for the installation and for our soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Stanley Rivers as he picked up his tree.
Every year, Army Community Services hosts Trees for Troops at Fort Gordon. This year they gave away about 500 evergreens.
“My kids look forward to it, and they ask me…today when they woke up for school, they were like, ‘are we getting our tree today ?’and I was like, ‘yes baby, daddy’s coming home with the tree,'” Rivers said.
Many of the trees come with handwritten notes from school children.
More than a dozen volunteers helped the troops pick out trees and load them onto cars.
“It’s really about the soldiers here at Fort Gordon, making sure that they have something that possibly they couldn’t have otherwise,” said volunteer Prince Saaid Adaual Hashe Yohannes.
But there’s a lot more than just trees. After all the Christmas trees are hauled off, the festivities are out in full force with carols, hayrides, and even a visit from Santa.
The Sangster family came out for just that part of the evening.
“[It’s] a great opportunity for organizations, you know, that are here training, as well as active duty, already past training, to get together and just celebrate the holidays and be able to let our hair down a little bit and just have some fun,” said Lt. Col. Ben Sangster.
For our men and women in uniform, Trees for Troops is the beginning of the holiday season and a nice respite from all the work they do to keep us safe.