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Fort Irwin, Marine Base get 220 Christmas trees

Christmas will be a lot brighter

STAFF WRITER

FORT IRWIN • Approximately 120 trees were donated to troops at Fort Irwin and an additional 100 to the Marines and their families for the Christmas holiday.

All were donated in conjunction with the Trees for Troops program, which has provided free Christmas trees to military families since 2005.

La Salle High School in Pasadena donated 120 large Douglas and Noble fir trees to the Army base through a fundraiser set up by several clubs on campus.

“It adds cheer to a family,” Bob Lucas, a retired sergeant major and current Army Emergency Relief officer said. “They’re proud of our soldiers who serve our nation and they wanted to give something back to them.”

Students from the high school, as well as Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Pinkerton, Lucas and four soldiers from BOSS — Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers — helped unload a semi-truck full of trees and re-load them on to another semi-truck to take them to the base.

Rusty Layton, owner of Barstow Transfer and Storage, donated a driver and semi-truck to go with the soldiers to help pick up the trees.

“We help out with our troops because of what they and their families sacrifice and what they do for us,” Layton said. “We’re happy to be there when they need it and if there’s something we can do to help them, Barstow Transfer and Storage is happy to do it.”

The trees donated ranged from six to 15 feet in size and one soldier who helped load said it was an all-day affair to collect them.

“It was a busy and great day because it helped a lot of families. Those who didn’t get a Christmas tree were able to get one,” Barnett said.

At Fort Irwin, the trees were distributed by unit and priority was given to many of the young soldiers and their families, according to Lucas.

In 2012, the Trees for Troops program provided 18,681 trees to military families and troops and more than 121,000 since the inception of the program, according to their website.

Contact the writer: bself@desertdispatch.com or (760) 256-4123.


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