FORT BENNING, Ga. (WTVM) - 350 Christmas trees lined Wetherby Field Thursday morning, but were all gone within a few hours.
Trees for Troops provides active duty service members, or their spouses, with real trees for free.
Organizers said the number of trees they had to distribute at Trees for Troops is about half of their usual supply due to a national tree shortage.
2nd Lt. Robert Kunkel and his family got in line early Thursday morning and waited for several hours to make sure they got a tree.
“This is kind of our first Christmas as a little family in our own place, so we’re really looking forward to making those traditions and, like you said, decorating it tonight. This our first Christmas tree so we’re just really excited," Kunkel explained.
Fort Benning’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation organization partnered with FedEx and the Christmas Spirit Foundation to provide soldiers with free trees.
“They come, they grab their trees for their families, their kids and they’re enjoying themselves. This is the beginning for them. Maybe next year they’re not going to be here for the holidays so, we want to make sure that when they’re home, they enjoy themselves to the most they can," said Mary Negron, special events manager with Fort Benning MWR.
Kunkel didn’t want to miss the chance to start making traditions with his family as this year marks his first Christmas in the military.
“That’s what this season is all about. It’s the spirit of giving. It’s awesome that we’re able to be out here and receive a free Christmas tree and everyone else here," he said.
As far as finding the perfect tree...
“A good solid looking tree. We’re not going for a Charlie Brown looking one, but we’re happy with anything we get. We’re not going to be too picky," Kunkel explained.
Fort Benning’s first Trees for Troops was in 2005.