Fort Leonard Wood service members have the opportunity to pick out Christmas trees

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:35 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:20 PM CST
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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (KY3) - Service members and their families have the opportunity to pick out a free Christmas tree this weekend at Fort Leonard Wood.

Hundreds of Christmas trees are available to active-duty military members and their spouses through Fort Leonard Wood’s ‘Trees for Troops’ program, which runs through Saturday at the Automotive Skills Center.

”I brought the family today before work to come and get a tree. Hopefully we can get home and decorate it later,” said Kaemon Payne.

The tree lot has been filled with trees that have been donated from Michigan, New York, and even some from in Missouri. Some of the trees have a little thank you note attached to them.

”There are lots of tags that show ‘thank you for your service,’ ‘happy holidays,’ all the things and it really shows that the nation is coming together in support of our service members,” said Megan O’Donoghue, Director for Family & Morale Welfare & Recreation.

For many service members, they don’t have the chance to go home this year for Christmas.

”It’s a little bit different not getting to be with family as much, but we got a little family here. So that’s really all we need,” said Private Kaemon Payne.

Some people came with their children, some came alone, and some even had family members on FaceTime helping pick out the tree.

”My wife is overdoing the glucose test for her pregnancy at the hospital right now, and I just didn’t know the times would align like this. So I was kind of showing her the trees on FaceTime,” said Sgt. Michael Tiedemann.

Every family has their own way of decorating the tree. Sgt. Tiedemann and his wife are both in the military, so they decorate with ornaments from everywhere they have been.

”Everywhere we’ve been, especially Germany. We were there last year. That’s when me and my wife met, so we have a lot of memories with the ornaments that we have there,” said Sgt Tiedemann.

For more information on the Trees for Troops program, CLICK HERE.

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