The holidays can be a difficult time for our troops stationed overseas, missing their family and friends back home, but one group of volunteers is working to make the holidays a little more special for them. They're sending local, holiday trees overseas, and it's all part of the "Trees From Home" program.
The program began back in 2003, when founder Julie Stuhlmacher's son was serving overseas, and was injured in the line of duty. Stuhlmacher decided to send her son a small Christmas tree for the holidays, and when her son came home, he urged her to continue sending holiday trees to troops, and "Trees From Home" was born.
"(My son) said all of his fellow soldiers were amazed, and the colors were so bright, compared to the tan and beige of the desert," Stuhlmacher said.
As part of the program, volunteers fill 2,500 boxes with goodie bags and a specially made holiday tree. One of the volunteers is Jerry Hill, a World War II veteran, who says this is a great way to give thanks to, and remember, our troops.
"You have to boost their morale. That's the paramount part of this whole thing, because they've given us so much," Hill said.
The boxes will be shipped out Friday, November 11, in honor of Veteran's Day.
Stuhlmacher says she plans to continue this tradition until all of the soliders are home, and says they've already started planning for next year.
The group is looking for donations, as they need to raise $3,000 to ship all 2,500 "Trees From Home" overseas.