CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Christmas tree giveaway for service members was held at the Paige Fieldhouse parking lot, Dec. 5.
Roughly 950 Marines, Sailors and family members received Christmas trees and other giveaways through the Trees for Troops program, which was also held at San Onofre for service members in the Northern region of Camp Pendleton.
“This is going to be our first Christmas together as husband and wife, so getting a Christmas tree for our home means a lot to us,” said Seaman Tristan Storrs, a hospital corpsman with 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Storrs, and his wife Annamieke, have been at the event since 4 a.m. They were able to take part in the festivities, which included games, face-painting, a raffle and free food and drinks.
“There is a strong sense of community throughout the whole event,” said Annamieke. “Since we got here, we’ve met some really nice people and have had fun with the different activities. I could definitely feel the holiday spirit.”
Volunteers from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Training Regiment assisted the attendees as they went through booths and picked out their trees.
“We all volunteered for this event to help out the families of the Marines out there who can’t be here for Christmas,” said Sgt. Gabriel Rojo, a volunteer from MCRD Training Regiment. “The event brings everyone together and shows how the military is one big family that supports each other.”
Each year the program delivers an average of 17,000 trees to more than 60 military bases around the country.
“Many of us might go through both good times and hard times during the winter season,” said Dino Richardson, event coordinator with Marine Corps Community Services, Camp Pendleton. “We want to focus on what’s good, and we hope that the Christmas trees help people remember and cherish those good memories of Christmas.”