Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com)
From the American Revolution to World War Two to today, service men and women have been called on to sacrifice home front comforts like Christmas while doing duty overseas.
The people at the Chub Lake Tree Farm in Carlton are humbled by that dedication.
"We really appreciate those guys and gals that are serving our nation now." said Jim Whorton of the Chub Lake Tree Farm.
Army Guard veteran Jim Whorton has been putting action behind that sentiment for about eight years now.
He and many other tree growers around the country take part in a "trees for troops" drive every December.
The trees go to units overseas and to their families left behind at base.
"Where I do know they've gone includes Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as well as Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Riley, Kansas as well as the local unit. Last year, when they were deployed, about 50 trees went to families in the local Arrowhead region." said Horton.
Along with trees this Christmas, many military people will be getting cards drawn by kids.
That's the holiday mission of the Northland's National Bank of Commerce branches.
"We have four thousand cards we'll be sending out the first week of December overseas to our military." said Lisa Dunaiski of NBC.
To sign a card for a soldier, sailor, coastie, marine or airman, just head to your nearest NBC bank.
Duluth branch manager Lisa Dunaiski says her family has five generations of service people so she knows a small token like a card can take the sting out of Christmas thousands of miles from home.
"They're away from their families 18 months at a time. We all know the 148th has been deployed, what, four times and the Cloquet unit has been deployed twice so every little bit we can do within our community can help." said Dunaiski.
Jim Whorton feels the same way about the effect his trees have on the troops.
"I think it is very important particularly in the support from home. We've gotten cards from families that received trees from here and other families who donated trees have come in with stories and you just can't tell that story without getting emotional." said Horton.
In Carlton, Dave Anderson reporting.
If you'd like to donate to "trees for troops", you have until December, 3rd.
Just talk to the crew at the Chub Lake Tree farm or several other tree farms throughout the region.
You also have until December 3rd to sign a Christmas card at any National Bank of Commerce branch.