It can be hard for many military families to get into the holiday spirit. Whether due to deployment, separation, fatigue, or just the stresses that come with service, military families around the country don’t always have the energy or opportunity to join in with the festive mood. One program is doing a lot to ease that burden, despite being more than a thousand miles away.
Every year, tree growers in Michigan come together to send Christmas trees to military families in Florida. This year, around 700 trees were gathered together and shipped out from Wahmhoff Farms in Gobles, Michigan. Volunteers from all branches of the military, as well as civilians, participated in getting the trees sent down south.
“This is really great,” Navy veteran James Addessi said. “It’s getting bigger every year.”
Christmas pine trees are easy to come by in Michigan, but it’s quite a bit harder to get one in the Sunshine State of Florida. That means the prices on Christmas trees goes way up, which can really hurt an already thin military budget.
The Christmas trees sent annually from Michigan to Florida, however, are completely free for the military families. It’s just another way people and veterans give back and show their support for active duty military personnel and their families.
Army veteran Bruce Binns helped load the Christmas trees for military families at the Michigan tree farm, saying it was “one of those good goosebumps days where you just feel really good about everyone doing good together.”
Binns told the local news, “I have a special bond to my, as you say, my brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces. I consider myself still to be a soldier at heart and so the bonds are very close and we look out for each other.”
Military families looking for a little help with the holidays can find out about all their programs and benefits available to them by clicking here!
Watch the Christmas trees getting shipped out from Michigan to Florida in the video below!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.