Cherry Point Marines receive free Christmas trees

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 06:15 PM.

Randy Stoe, service center manager for the FedEx Freight Terminal in Greenville, has been driving the trees for three years.

“It’s probably the most rewarding experience in my career with FedEx,” he said. “This is a wonderful day.”

He said Federal Express offers free freight for the tree shipment, and said the company has driven about 350,000 miles in delivering about 103,000 trees in eight years of involvement with the program.

About 80 tree farms in the United States and Canada participate in the program. McKenzie said a tree farm based in Massachusetts with farms in Canada provided this year’s trees to Cherry Point, along with personal notes to those receiving them.

“When the troops get the tree and the card, it makes them feel really great,” McKenzie said. “It’s huge for them. It’s the little things. A lot of people think that in this economy that the military members are on a steady paycheck but they have families, they have young children. They have a lot of financial responsibilities. A lot of them that get the trees are spouses. Their husband is deployed and they’re not here to help them pick out the tree, set up the tree, and the fact that they can just come here and get the tree, it makes it so much easier for them to have a Christmas for them while their husband is deployed.”

The Marines appreciated the trees.

“It helps us out a lot and makes it possible for us not to have to spend the money on Christmas trees and be able to afford more presents for our kids,” said Cpl. Devin Batten. “I’m pretty sure there are a lot more families that appreciate it just as much as I do.”



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