'Trees for Troops' spreads holiday cheer

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jacob R. McCarthy
  • Nellis AFB Public Affairs
The smell of pine and a sense of cheer were in the air as members of the Nellis community came together Dec. 5 to benefit more than 600 Airmen and their families this holiday season during the second annual Trees for Troops.

The 99th Services Squadron and the Nellis First Sergeants Association teamed up with the Christmas Spirit Foundation and FedEx to donate 700 trees in hopes of spreading a little holiday joy and making this season more affordable for Airmen and their families.

The event can hopefully provide a little sense of home to Airmen spending the holidays away from their loved ones, said Cate Berry, 99th SVS director of marketing.

The event also helps to alleviate holiday expenses for our Airmen here, said Mrs. Berry. Providing the trees at no cost to servicemembers saves them anywhere from $25 to $60 which they might have spent at an off-base lot, she continued.

In addition to giving out trees, 99th SVS provided attendees and their families with hot chocolate, coffee, donuts and cookies. Services also had holiday-themed coloring books and teddy bears for children.

Members from the Nellis First Sergeants Association and other volunteers were on hand to help Airmen select a perfect tree and load it into their vehicles.

Little Rock native, Airman 1st Class Emmanuel Cuillier, 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment mechanic, who'll be spending his second holiday season at Nellis with his wife, Jessica, got the pick of the litter by getting his tree early.

"This is a great deal for Airmen at Nellis," said Airmen Cuillier, who's staying in the Las Vegas area this holiday season. "I'll be able to use the money I saved to buy more gifts for my wife and family."

Bringing a sense of home to those who are so far away from it is really what the tree giveaway is all about, said Mrs. Berry. "Watching the faces of the families as they pick out their trees and take them home really evokes the spirit of the holiday season."