Trees for Troops delivers holiday cheer to Cape May servicemembers – updated

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May News
CAPE MAY, N.J. – More than 50 Coast Guardsmen received a delivery of donated Christmas trees from Trees for Troops at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May Friday at 12:30 p.m.

The trees were distributed to junior ranking servicemembers on the base including crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous who just returned from a patrol conducting counter narcotics and illegal immigration operations. Trees will also be donated to Coast Guard families whose loved ones are currently deployed for the holiday season like the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, who are currently deployed conducting frontline Coast Guard missions.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Roman Chavez, a Coast Guardsman at Training Center Cape May, N.J., poses with his wife, Karin, after receiving a donated Christmas tree from Trees for Troops Dec. 6, 2013. More than 50 Coast Guardsmen at Training Center Cape May and its 13 tenant commands received trees as part of the Trees for Troops program. (Coast Guard photo by Seaman Jennifer Nease)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Roman Chavez, a Coast Guardsman at Training Center Cape May, N.J., poses with his wife, Karin, after receiving a donated Christmas tree from Trees for Troops Dec. 6, 2013. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Jennifer Nease

“When a mom or dad is gone for the holidays because of their service, there is a huge void left behind,” said Capt. Todd Prestidge, the commanding officer of Training Center Cape May. “The act of recognizing that sacrifice and showing support with a Christmas tree during that difficult time goes a long way.”

The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation hopes to deliver more than 140,000 Christmas trees to service members and their families around the world this year through the Trees for Troops program. Training Center Cape May has been participating in Trees for Troops since 2009.

“It’s a wonderful feeling of gratification being able to do this for the past several years,” said Barbara Wyatt of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation. “It’s exciting to spread that kind of spirit and attitude to those who are making so many sacrifices for our Nation.”

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May is the Coast Guard’s only enlisted basic training facility and provides critical logistic, facility and administrative support services to 13 Coast Guard units that support critical Coast Guard missions locally and globally. Coast Guard Cutters Vigorous and Dependable are 210-foot medium endurance cutters built for multi-week offshore patrols and conduct critical front-line Coast Guard missions including illegal migrant interdiction, counter narcotics, search and rescue, and national defense.

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