Dec. 05--Pfc. Yesenia Ramos couldn't fight back her tears.
She stood next to a large Christmas tree and talked about spending the holiday season without her family when she emotionally broke down. But what's keeping her spirits up is the generosity of the people behind the Trees for Troops program, which started handing out about 400 Christmas trees to Fort Carson soldiers on Monday.
"It feels good," Ramos said as she stood next to her husband, Angelo. "We never experienced anything like it."
As part of Trees for Troops, FedEx dropped off the trees at Fort Carson to help soldiers and their family celebrate the holiday. The program, in its 12th year, has delivered more than 18,000 trees to 65 military bases in 17 countries.
"This allows the FedEx team to share the holidays with thousands of our heroes," FedEx spokeswoman Lillie Flenorl said.
Sgt. Juan Sepulveda and his wife, Tonya, arrived with one of their two sons to pick up a tree. They moved from Hawaii last month and are waiting for their belongings to be shipped to the post.
They were touched by the generosity of Trees for Troops and volunteers, who helped make their transition easier.
"It might seem to some people that this is just a tree, but it means a lot because they don't have to," Sepulveda said. "They opened their hearts to us."
Soldiers selected for the program are typically in lower ranks or have children.
"There are families on Fort Carson that are much larger than mine, and with my husband and I working and we have no children at this time, ensuring that one of the trees goes to a family with children is more important to us," said Fort Carson spokeswoman Alexandra Shea
On Monday, volunteers helped soldiers choose one of the trees that was wrapped in a plastic netting and lined up along fences on the post. Each tree got a fresh cut at its trunk before the soldiers carried it on their shoulders and to their cars. Soldiers have until Tuesday to pick up their free Christmas tree.
(c)2016 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News