FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) distributed Christmas trees to service members during the annual Trees for Troops event today at Thunder Mountain Activity Center.
“The Christmas Spirit Foundation connects with tree growers all over the United States and FedEx does the shipping to all military installations in the United States,” said Stacy Sandlin, sponsorship and marketing manager at FMWR.
The crew from FMWR unloaded 100 Christmas trees before the break of dawn. As the sun rose, a familiar Christmas tune, “No Place like Home for the Holidays,” piped from a speaker in the background.
“It’s amazing!” Sandlin exclaimed.
The rows of Christmas trees in the outdoor pavilion are all tagged with hand-written sentiments to the service members. One said, “Thank you for your service, and sacrifice,” and another said, “Many blessings, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.”
Sandlin said there is a tree shortage this year, but FMWR will still be able to make service members and their families happy for the Christmas holiday.
“I heard they were giving away free Christmas trees,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Keanu-Reichel, chaplain for 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. “I was encouraged to come check it out.”
Keanu-Reichel arrived at 2 p.m. and browsed through the eight Christmas trees left to claim.
“My wife will be surprised,” Keanu-Reichel said inspecting the trees. “This is our first Christmas away from home.”
The chaplain and his wife are native to Hawaii arriving to the 40th ESB and Fort Huachuca in August.
The Keanu-Reichel family is experiencing a lot of “firsts” this holiday season, including their newborn daughter’s first Christmas, he said.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.