By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As holiday decorations begin to fill store shelves, one program seeks to spread the Christmas spirit by providing free trees for military families in need.
Trees for Troops, a program co-founded by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx in 2005, provides hundreds of trees to military families across the United States each year.
"The holidays can become very costly at times for the Soldiers and being able to provide them with a free live tree brings those expenses down," Aida Stallings, Fort Rucker Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation community recreation division business manager, said.
According to Stallings, the trees are available to any active duty military members and their families.
"It is on a first come, first serve basis," she said. "Show up at Bowden Community Center, Corvias Leasing Center, on Dec. 2. (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) will be there at 8 a.m. to start giving away the trees.
"We will have 75 trees to give away," she added. "We ask that they bring their own tie downs to secure the trees as we will not have any available."
According to Stallings, the trees for this campaign are provided by more than 400 growers and retailers in 29 states.
"The foundation, FedEx and its supporters appreciate the sacrifices military members and their families make each and every day," she said. "They have stated that they want to provide a little Christmas spirit and maybe start a new tradition with military families to be able to experience a traditional Christmas with a real tree."
Stallings added that the community can support Trees for Troops and programs like it through the gift of their time.
"We need to spread the word, so that we can make sure that all 75 trees are given away to military families," she said. "Contact (DFMWR) for more information on volunteering, supporting this program or others like it."
For more information, call 255-9810.