By Kristin Molinaro, The BayonetDecember 3, 2010
FORT BENNING, Ga.- Trees for Troops is returning to Fort Benning Monday for the sixth year in a row. The program, sponsored by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx Corporation, will give away approximately 700 live Christmas trees to Soldiers and families.
The trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Main Post car wash.
Active-duty Soldiers and their families may receive one tree. Soldiers not in uniform and family members must present proper identification.
Since 2005, the charitable organization, a branch of the National Christmas Tree Association, has delivered more than 67,000 trees to military families across the world.
The goal of the foundation is "to advance the spirit of Christmas year-round for kids, families and the environment," according to foundation officials.
The organization grew from efforts by Christmas tree growers in the 1990s to donate trees to National Guard units and other military personnel deployed in peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo and other regions. Today, tree farms in 29 states participate in the program.
Fort Benning was one of the five original installations that received donated trees when the program began, said Rick Dungey, of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation. Dungey said families can expect to chose from a variety of tree species, including Douglas fir and Virginia pine.
Planning to go' Get there early and prepare to wait in line. Last year, hundreds turned out for Trees for Troops. Soldiers not in uniform or family members wishing to get a tree must provide proper identification.