Thursday, April 24, 2014


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More than 100 Christmas trees shipped to military families

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Albany/HV: More than 100 Christmas trees shipped to military families
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Local farmers teamed up with FedEx to give some of our service men and women a taste of the holidays. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, more than 100 Christmas trees were loaded sent to military families around the world.

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- For the ninth year in a row, New York Army National Guard Soldiers piled into the Ellms' Christmas Tree Farm in Ballston Spa, to help deliver some Christmas Spirit, one tree at a time.

"We're delivering trees to the troops pretty much around the world, and pretty much just giving them a little piece of home, while they're away," said Lt. Maurice Catel.

He knows first hand what "Trees for Troops" means to a soldier spending the holidays away from loved ones.

"I went to Iraq twice and there were trees over there, and it's just nice to have a little piece of comfort in an otherwise very hostile situation," said Catel.

"It's a wonderful feeling, we've had a number of soldiers come back from overseas that have said they've received these 'trees for troops.' It's a little bit of home," said Chip Ellms.

The program will deliver trees to military families at more than 60 bases around the Country and overseas.

"We're the central drop off point and the other farms and garden centers have been dropping them off since Thursday," said Ellms.

More than 150 of the holiday evergreens were donated to the Eastern New York Drop Off by 16 local farms. Now FedEx will deliver these trees, and close to 140,000 other ones donated across the country, for free.

Justin Gould said, "At the end of the day the service members that fight for our country are the reason we're able to come out as a company and provide the services for everybody because of the safety that they provide."

Lt. Catel added, "This is just a small sacrifice that we're doing for a much larger sacrifice and we're happy to do it and happy to support our brothers and sisters that are overseas and around the Country."

And a small way of saying thanks to those that bring us the most incredible gift, our freedom. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP