Trees for Troops returns to Fort Leonard Wood

By Brian HillNovember 20, 2023

Fort Leonard Wood service members will get the opportunity to pick out a free, live holiday tree again this year, as the Trees for Troops program returns to the Auto Skills Center on Dec. 8 and 9.

Active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard service members and their spouses may reserve a pick-up time between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at Bldg. 1383, by calling the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Leisure Travel Services, or by visiting the FMWR website, FMWR Marketing Manager Nia Dickinson confirmed.

A military I.D. is required at the time of pick-up.

Anyone with access to the installation is welcome to pick up a free tree on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last between the same times the next day, Dec. 9, Dickinson noted, adding there is a limit of one tree per family.

The Trees for Troops program has delivered live holiday trees to military families on more than 80 military installations around the world since 2005, and FMWR is “so proud to be a part of this amazing program that truly epitomizes the spirit of giving, as tree farmers and individuals from across the nation donate trees in support of this program,” FMWR Director Megan O’Donoghue said.

“Many military families are not able to go home for the holidays, so we like to bring a little holiday spirit to them in the form of a beautiful, free tree,” O’Donoghue said. “Many service members blend traditions from families or locations they have been stationed at and selecting a tree is among those traditions. How can someone not smile and feel happy when selecting a tree? When that tree finds a home, it is the start of the season.”

O’Donoghue said one of her favorite things about the program is the tags hanging from many of the trees, sending thankful messages of holiday cheer from those who donated the trees to the service members receiving them.

“The day of delivery, I love to read the tags and make sure they are visible for patrons to see, as these little messages, sent from the heart, are really what the season is all about,” O’Donoghue said.

Learn more about the program by visiting the Trees for Troops website.