Friday, December 19, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Trees for Troops

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Albany/HV: Trees for Troops
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There are many who consider the holidays the best time of the year. Others though might disagree, especially those military families who have a loved one deployed. Our Christian Farrell has more on one local effort that aims to restore that holiday spirit.

CORNWALL, N.Y. -- "We wind up going around hounding people for trees," said Bob Nannini of Farmside Acres.

The product of Bob Nannini's work is this collection of Christmas trees. Thursday, an assembly line of local airmen help load the back of a Fed Ex tractor trailer with trees. It's part of a local community effort known as Trees for Troops. The mission is to brighten the holiday of military families by delivering a real Christmas tree right to their living room.

"It's a hard time just being over there as it is. During the holiday season makes it even worse. We do the best that we can to try and make it as enjoyable as possible. Things like this really helps out," said Staff Sergeant Christopher Hawkins of the New York Air National Guard.

This is the faith year Nannini of Farmside Acres in Cornwall has organized the event.

"We started out it was only like 80 trees. Then 110. Last year it was 140. Every year we seem to be growing a little bit," said Nannini.

Now this year's record haul of 205 Christmas trees is headed to families of United States Marines stationed at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.

"One of the things that brings joy to everybody is the Christmas tree. It brings everybody together," said Shelly Aiken, USMC Family Readiness Officer.

And unfortunately, when service to one's country separates a family, sometimes others have to help fill the void.

"The families out there really deserve it. They deserve it. What they do for the country, the sacrifices, a Christmas tree is the least you can get them," Nannini said. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP