That changed Thursday when they picked out an 8-foot tree at the Trees for Troops giveaway at Fort Gordon. The Christmas tree towered over 5-year-old Lily Daman, who knew she wanted to bring home a big one.
A total of 425 Fraser fir, cedar and pine trees were handed out to active-duty military members and their families, some who lined up two hours before the giveaway. The event was sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation.
“It’s pretty much our only chance to get a tree,” Daman said.
Last year, she bought a small “Charlie Brown tree” when her husband, Spc. Russell Daman, returned home from deployment. When her tree goes up in the living room this week, homemade ornaments featuring the children’s handprints will hang from the limbs.
Samantha Morehead reminisced about a family tradition of cutting down a tree from a field near her home in Illinois. She wanted to make the first Christmas as a military family feel special for her two daughters.
“It gives us a little bit of home,” Morehead said. “It helps take the stress off you and keeps it normal for the kids.”
Sgt. Monte White loaded a tall tree into a truck for his sister and four nieces and nephews.
“As soldiers, we appreciate knowing the community is thinking of us,” White said.