It's a Christmas first for Sgt. 1st Class Alvin Hamilton, his wife, Rosie, and their three children.
"I never had a real Christmas tree," Hamilton said.
The Hamiltons were among more than 700 military families who received free Christmas trees through the Trees for Troops program.
More than 11,000 trees from 25 states were distributed through the program. Fort Gordon was one of the last distribution sites. The trees were sent to 25 military bases in 17 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar.
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, FedEx and the National Christmas Tree Association organized the giveaway for the second straight year.
In addition to the trees, families received handmade Christmas ornaments from children in Virginia.
"It went really well," said Lynn Harshman, of Fort Gordon's Army Community Service who helped organize the local distribution.
Trees arrived around 8 a.m. Friday. When all the volunteers left at 6:30 p.m. Friday, about 634 of the 759 trees remained. By Monday, there were 41 left, Harshman said.
The remaining trees will be taken to wildlife areas on post to be used as fish habitat, she said.
About 60 volunteers from the 447th Signal Battalion assisted with the trees.
The soldiers volunteering to unload and distribute the trees got into the spirit of the holiday, Harshman said.
"Their drill sergeant told them when it got really cold to huddle together and sing Christmas songs," she said.
During the day, familiar melodies could be heard, she said.
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