It was June 2011 and I was just told that my new duty station was going to be Fort Carson, Colorado. My family and I relocated in July and I found out later that month that I was about 2 months pregnant. Fast forward to October, I was going through early labor (very early as I was only 5 months) and was placed on complete bed rest. That meant no getting out of bed, no excuses, unless it was to use the bathroom.
This is a sponsored post for Tree for Troops. All opinions are my own.
Christmas was fast approaching and we were in a strange place, separated thousands of miles from family and friends. It was quite a lonely existence, however, one of the things that I have come to love about the military is that your unit becomes your family. There’s a reason that we’re all so close and look out for each other, but that’s another story. This was going to be our first Christmas in Colorado, but with me being on bedrest, it also meant that I couldn’t go out and find the perfect tree for my family. Luckily, my unit came to my rescue with Trees for Troops, a program that provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to members of all branches of the United States military and their families.
I remember the day I got the phone call from my sergeant letting me know that the unit had secured a ticket for my husband to collect a Christmas tree for my family. A REAL Christmas tree!! All he had to do was show up, choose his tree, and they’d be there to help him deliver our tree to the house. It genuinely meant a great deal to me and even now as I’m typing this, the tears are forming. When you are in a strange place, surrounded by strangers, especially when you have kids, you want them to experience Christmas as they’ve grown accustomed to, including the tree and the presents. Trees for Troops totally made our Christmas that year, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
It’s been a few years, but I will never forget our first Christmas in Colorado. Since 2005 when the Trees for Troops program began, with the support of FedEx, over 191,000 real Christmas trees have been provided to military personnel and their families, and their goal for this year is to donate 17,000 trees which will surpass the 200,000th tree being delivered.
On October 26th, 2017, Trees for Troops was the recipient of the 2017 Spirit of Hope Award and was honored at the U.S. Pentagon. This award recognizes current and former military members, civilians, and organizations that epitomize the values of patriotism, loyalty, freedom and dedication to the United States, and it was a well deserved one.
So why real trees?
It’s fun finding the perfect tree for the holidays. It’s one experience that your family can look forward to, and it’s an experience that cannot be duplicated when you purchase an artificial tree. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, so they are much friendlier to the environment. Also, they provide business for farmers who depend on the income for their families, and for every real tree harvested, one new tree is planted. Trees for Troops wants everyone to “Keep it Real” this holiday season by celebrating with real Christmas trees.
How can you get involved with Trees for Troops?
You can help make a magical Christmas experience for a military family by making a monetary donation at TreesForTroops.org, or by visiting a participating tree farm location during the weekend of December 1-3, 2017. There you can purchase a real tree and place it on a waiting FedEx truck to be delivered to a military base the following week.
So donate and bring a smile to a military family face this Christmas, a family who may be missing their relatives, or even their significant others who may be currently deployed. After all, everyone deserves to have a special Christmas with a real tree.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Trees for Troops.