Hundreds of Marines and their families were shown appreciation today, in the form of a Christmas tree. The Trees for Troops program is helping make the Robbin's Christmas a little merrier. Military wife Stefanie Robbins explained, "We didn't know what we were going to do for a Christmas tree this year because budget are tight and with the economy the way it is and having a new addition to the family.” Tree growers donated 800 trees to the Marines at Camp Lejeune. The trees were given away on a first come first serve basis, one tree per family. In the four years the Trees for Troops program has been around they have donated 50,000 trees to troops around the country. Fed-ex has transported the trees to the bases for free as well. Pam Helmsing who coordinates the program said, "The Christmas tree growers from across the country decided that they wanted to do something a little special to show their thanks and appreciation for their country." One Marine who was passing out trees, Zachary Hatton, said, "It's just real nice to give people a tree puts a smile on their face give them a couple of merry Christmases it just makes them feel better." The troops say the program does more than just give out free trees it represents what the Christmas spirit is all about. Organizers of the program say they plan on giving trees to the troops again next year.
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