Fort Bragg giving soldiers Christmas trees

December 11, 2009 12:44:08 PM PST
A holiday freebie is being offered to hundreds of Fort Bragg soldiers this year.The base is giving away more than 750 Christmas trees to soldiers and their families.

Soldier Pfc. Patrick Sherlock says a week ago he was in the middle of a war zone. Now he's home for a couple of weeks from Iraq just in time to help his wife pick out their Christmas tree.

"It's wonderful, especially to come out here and see all the support for the troops and the family," Sherlock said. "Especially come out here and pick a tree is really a great opportunity, especially being so far away."

It's called Trees for Troops. For the past five years FedEx and the National Christmas Tree Association have donated trees for soldiers and their families.

"It's awesome because you know, well I don't spend much time at home so it's going to be good," Fort Bragg Soldier SSgt. Vladimir Rivera said.

The trees come from all over the country and they have personal notes attached to them. Like one that says "Thank you. You're in our prayers every night. Pete and Carol from Newton Massachusetts."

"I think it's amazing there's handwritten notes on most of them saying that they support the soldiers," soldier's wife Heather Losee said. "And it's really special that they come from all over the country. I thought it was going to be from just around here and I've seen Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, everywhere."

The trees are distributed by Fort Bragg's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department. They say it's a labor of love.

"Especially for the families of deployed soldiers, it helps boost their morale this time of year," said Heather Ybarra with Morale Welfare and Recreation. "It's great for the soldiers. Financially, things are kind of difficult around the world right now. Anything we can do to help them out we greatly enjoying doing it."

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