Military families light up homes with locally donated trees

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The holidays are meant for spending quality time with friends and family, but for troops overseas they’re willing to give that up to serve for our country.

One annual program never fails to make them feel closer to home.

On Monday 125 Christmas trees were loaded up onto a Fed-Ex truck. Twenty members from the National Guard and 109th Airlift Wing reunited at Ellms Tree Farm to lend a hand.

This is the eleventh year the Ellms Tree Farm has supported the Trees for Troops Program and since this program launched in 2005, about 139,000 trees have been shipped to military bases.

“It reminds them of home and their family and especially around Christmas, it’s important for us to do that for them,” said Garth Ellms, Co-owner of Ellms Christmas Trees.

Each year, thousands of trees are donated by Christmas tree growers and consumers. Even though Ellms Farm is one of many on the list, they say it’s the least they can do.

“It means a lot. It’s not much, but it’s us doing our part and to hear these stories from the folks coming back and sharing those stories, it’s a great feeling,” said Garth.

Some of the service members have even come back to the farm to help with the loading, as their way to say thank you.

“It’s really just a way American can show to its servicemen and women that they’re thinking of them during the holiday season. When you’re far from home or if you’re a family missing a loved one who’s far from home, having that reminder of the community that they’re thinking of you during the holiday season is a great representation,” said Col. Richard Goldenberg, NY National Guard Public Affairs Officer.

It’s something as simple as a tree that has made service members feel remembered, especially during this season.

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