DHL Delivers Christmas Tree Shipment And Holiday Cheer To U.S. Troops In The Middle East
Plantation, Fla. -- December 11, 2006
DHL Partners with U.S. Army Reserve and Local New York Businesses to Ship 1,000 Trees, Lights and Decorations to Troops this Holiday Season
An aircraft carrying a special holiday shipment will lift off from John F. Kennedy International Airport this evening destined for U.S. troops serving in the Middle East. For the third straight year, DHL, the world’s leading express delivery and logistics provider, has partnered with the U.S. Army Reserve 77th Regional Readiness Command and local New York businesses to deliver Christmas trees, menorahs, ornaments and lights to American service men and women stationed overseas during the holiday season.
This year, the 750 Christmas trees donated by DHL and Dee’s Nursery of Long Island will be joined by 250 Christmas trees shipped from Riverside, Calif., on their way to Iraq. Accompanying the trees will be 4,000 boxes of lights, ornaments, menorahs and holiday cards purchased with donations collected through a partnership of local New York businesses and organizations. ’Santa Sacks,’ filled with holiday cards and letters written by children from numerous schools in the New York metro area will also accompany the shipment. The entire shipment will receive a special send off today at DHL’s Gateway facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The send-off celebration will include a performance by the USO singers, children from several local area schools and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
The DHL Christmas Trees for Troops initiative was launched in December 2004 after local businessman Jim Adelis overheard a woman at Dee’s Nursery in Nassau County, Long Island, inquiring about how to ship a Christmas tree to her son in Iraq. Adelis, whose son was stationed in Iraq at the time, was inspired to reach out to DHL and the local community to deliver more than just a single tree. Through a partnership with DHL, the U.S. Army Reserve 77th Regional Readiness Command, Dee’s Nursery and local New York residents and businesses, a total of 135 Christmas trees, along with lights, decorations, menorahs and holiday cards were sent to troops stationed at Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, in December 2004.
“We at DHL are once again honored to continue the tradition of bringing the holiday spirit to our troops in Iraq,” said John Cameron, Executive Vice President of Operations, DHL. “It is always wonderful to see a community that cares so much about our service men and women come together to deliver holiday cheer to thousands of troops who will not be home for the holidays. We are proud to continue our support for this special holiday delivery, and for the brave members of our armed forces.”
This year, the DHL shipment will receive an escort by members of the Nassau County, New York State, New York City and Port Authority Police to the DHL international gateway at JFK Airport. From New York, the shipment will travel to Bahrain, where the trees, ornaments, and decorations will be distributed among military camps in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain, to help spread holiday cheer among U.S. troops stationed throughout the Middle East. In addition, this year 60 artificial Christmas trees complete with lights, ornaments, holiday cards and toys will be sent to the Landstuhl Medical Center and US Army Garrison in Germany.
The send-off celebration at JFK Airport will commence with words of thanks and appreciation from Neal Moran, Director of DHL’s JFK Gateway and Major General Richard S. Colt, Ret., former commanding general of the 77th Regional Readiness Command. Jim Adelis will also be in attendance along with the Dee family of Dee’s Nursery.
“The 77th Regional Readiness Command is proud to be part of this wonderful tradition of sending Christmas Trees to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Major General Richard S. Colt. “The community, led by Jim Adelis and Dee’s Nursery, local Police Departments and schools, and of course DHL, are creating an old fashioned Christmas message from home to those who won’t be home for Christmas. I can’t express how grateful our military men and women are when they receive these trees.”
This year, DHL has also partnered with the March Joint Powers Authority in Southern California and the local community in Riverside where DHL’s main west coast air and ground hub is located, to coordinate another special shipment. DHL will deliver 250 Christmas trees, as well as tree lights, ornaments and holiday cards, to U.S. Troops, which were deployed from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside.
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