FORT BENNING, Ga. (Dec. 10, 2018) -- Service members and their Families began lining up at 6 a.m. Dec. 7 on Wetherby Field here to pick out their trees for the holiday season, courtesy of the Trees for Troops program.
Trees for Troops, a part of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, provides free farm-grown trees from across the United States to active-duty military members through a network of donations, volunteers and sponsors.
Soldiers assigned to the Infantry and Armor Basic Officer Leader Courses and employees from the FedEx Care Atlanta Team unloaded the trees delivered by FedEx volunteers at 10 a.m. They began distributing and loading trees onto recipients' cars soon after.
FedEx, which has participated in Trees for Troops for 12 years, delivered the trees to Fort Benning. This year, the driver got stuck on Wetherby Field short of his destination to unload the trees. Fortunately, the volunteers did not let this stop them from accomplishing their mission. Soldiers with pickup trucks came together to get trees from the vehicle to the right place on Wetherby Field.
"It really worked out well," said 2nd Lt. Raymond Sowinski, a volunteer at the event assigned to the Armor Basic Officer Leader Course. "Everyone came together to get the trees off the truck and to the Families."
Trees for Troops worked with Fort Benning Morale, Welfare and Recreation to deliver more than 600 trees to Fort Benning Soldiers and their Families. Staff Sgt. Joshua Graffio, a drill sergeant assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, said this will be the second time his family will enjoy a tree at home.
"It will be a surprise for my kids when they get home from school," he said. "It really makes the holiday spirit."