Operation Evergreen sends trees to troops
REYNOLDSBURG — American service men and women will celebrate the holidays with a live Ohio tree, thanks to Operation Evergreen, an event held recently at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Reynoldsburg camp and organized by the Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA).
“Family and tradition are a significant part of the holiday season, and we hope these trees will provide strength and spirit to the troops who cannot be at home for the holidays,” said ODA Director Robert Boggs. “The hundreds of trees and ornaments collected reflect the thousands of heartfelt wishes sent to the men and women serving our country.”
Ohio Christmas tree growers from around the state donated trees for the effort. Operation Evergreen collected, packed and shipped 300 Christmas trees to soldiers serving in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
In addition to the trees, local school children, churches and veterans’ groups donated decorations.
Department nursery inspectors examined each tree to ensure they were free of pests and diseases before issuing a phytosanitary certificate required for international shipment. FedEx is providing the international transport of the trees to the military units.
“Hopefully, the trees can bring a little bit of home to our troops who will be spending the holidays away from their families,” said Amy Galehouse, Ohio Christmas tree grower and coordinator of the event.
In addition to Operation Evergreen, a national Trees for Troops program will collect more than 16,000 trees to be delivered to the families of military personnel. FedEx will provide transportation of the donated trees to more than 38 military bases.
Operation Evergreen is sponsored by OCTA with the help of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx Corp. OCTA has been delivering Christmas trees to troops stationed overseas since 1995.
In addition to Christmas trees
donated by Ohio growers, local school children, churches
and veterans’ groups donated decorations so each
military unit received what they need for the holidays.
courtesy of Ohio Department