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Trees for Troops enhances the Christmas spirit during the pandemic

Military service members and their families picked from hundreds of free Christmas trees in Virginia Beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Friday, hundreds of Christmas trees were donated to military service members and their families at the JEB Little Creek-Fort Story Base. It was the 13th annual "Trees for Troops" giveaway with COVID-19 health safety measures in place. 

A total of 245 Christmas trees were lined up in rows to have military service members and their families pick one out.

“It seems like it’s extra special to us. You know, we won’t be spending time with family this year. So it means a lot of have something nice that we can do together and stay home," said military spouse Ashley Rogers. 

Due to COVID-19, families had to make reservations to pick up a tree. 

“It wasn’t until I joined the military and found out about the Trees for Troops program that I was able to get a real Christmas tree," said Navy sailor Julian Lopez. 

The new health safety measures didn’t stop Lopez from picking a tree for his family.

“To see it in my kids' eyes that they get to grow up with something I wasn’t able to, is really just an awesome thing.”

Trees for Troops is a national program providing deployed military service members and their families. 

According to the Trees for Troops founding organization, the Christmas Spirit Foundation sent out 14,500 Christmas trees to 79 military bases across the nation. 

“Thank you to who participated in the Trees for Troops program who were able to provide this for service members like us. You don’t know how much it means, especially in this COVID moment, to be able to add on something so positive," said Lopez.