REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Justus Turner, 3, wants Army guys for Christmas.

Army guys is exactly what he got and then some at the eighth annual community Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 2 at Bicentennial Chapel. Not only was the event decked out with real life Soldiers, but even the man with the naughty and nice list made an appearance.

Oohing and aahing as the live evergreen lit up the Arsenal sky, crafts in Santa's workshop, hot chocolate and candy canes, and a spot on Santa's lap were all on the menu for the evening as Team Redstone came together to celebrate the holiday season.

Justus' mom, Christina Turner, brought her three boys out for the event to see Santa, as well as get to know the Redstone Arsenal community, which they moved to in August.
"I just thought it would be something fun for us to do as a family," Turner said. "It's a good holiday time."

Musical selections by members of the AMC Band, as well as the Child Development Center Children's Choir set the mood for the festivities as children and parents alike waited in anticipation for the lighting of the evergreen tree that was planted in 1986, and dedicated to POWs and those missing in action.

Garrison commander Col. John Hamilton welcomed the crowd before flipping the switch with his family and Redstone Arsenal commander Maj. Gen. Jim Rogers' wife Reba.

"This event is about family," Hamilton told the crowd of young and old alike.

With the flip of the switch, sirens filled the air as Santa made a special appearance to lend an ear to the wishes of all the boys and girls in attendance. All headed inside to share their wish list with Santa and to ward off the evening's chill with some warm goodies and hot chocolate. Hosted by FMWR, the annual lighting was sponsored by Sam's Club, Home Depot and Woody Anderson Ford.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16