By Mark Kane, USAG-Rock Island Arsenal Public AffairsDecember 3, 2012
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ILL. -- More than 120 Christmas trees are being given away by the Trees for Troops organization, and organized through Rock Island Arsenal FMWR, to service members and their families at Rock Island Arsenal beginning today.
Trees are being handed out on a first come, first serve basis to active-duty service members.
Families began arriving at 9 a.m. to the Memorial Park Pavilion on Arsenal Island to pick out their trees, which will be available to active-duty troops Dec. 3-7 at the location 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.
"It's a very good gesture," said Sgt. Jeffrey Reed, First Army, regarding the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation Trees for Troops program that since 2005, in cooperation with FedEx, has donated more than 100,000 Christmas trees to service members and their families in the U.S. and overseas.
"I love the program, I have it on my Facebook and I just noticed it last week for the first time this year," said Stephanie Reed, Sgt. Jeffrey Reed's spouse. "I really appreciate all the people who donate all the trees to the Soldiers … it's a really great thing they do."
"It's a great program," said Maj. Clayton White, First Army. "How organizations out there in the community come together in supporting the Soldiers."
Soldiers from Army Sustainment Command volunteered with unloading and loading the trees. The volunteers were more than happy to help with the tree giveaway.
"This is an excellent program and a good way for the community to give back to the troops and show their support," said Staff Sgt. William Gerding, Army Sustainment Command, who was a volunteer at Memorial Park Pavilion assisting troops with picking out their tree. "This brings some good cheer to those who are either away from their families or to help them celebrate with their families."
This year Trees for Troops will deliver approximately 18,000 trees, the majority of which will be going to military bases across the U.S. and overseas. Here at Rock Island Arsenal, trees can be picked up at the Memorial Park Pavilion during the above timeframes. Please call (309) 782-4420 for more information.