Honor, Courage and Commitment for Trees for Troops
I was honored to participate alongside the Christmas Spirit Foundation to support the Trees for Troops program at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Many military families and troops across the globe would not have a Christmas tree without Trees for Troops. And I was proud to be one of the FedEx volunteers helping families select a special tree to take home and decorate.
Beyond being a FedEx volunteer, my passion for supporting the service men and women began because of my family’s proud military legacy.
In 1917, my grandfather, Earl Wise, and his younger brother, Jim, reported to an Army depot to join the WWI fight in France. However, my grandfather was advised that his expertise was not to serve or fight alongside his younger brother but to support from home. He was needed for farming; to grow crops the government could buy that would help sustain service men abroad. Tragically, Jim lost his life in combat action in France later that year but my grandfather remained committed to his fields and to doing his part. He did this in honor of his brother and to play a larger role at home.
Fast forward 20 or more years, when the men of my family continued that patriotic service and commitment. My dad, Robert Wise, and his brothers, Earl Jr. and Wallace, raised their right hands and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. Each brother excelled in his own mission and military branch. However, in October 1944, as a U.S. Army Infantryman, my dad’s military service ended early. He was injured by a sniper for the Japanese Imperial Army, as part of the Island Hopping Campaign in the Philippines. The years of WWII passed and my Dad and his brothers returned home to their parents; their duty fulfilled, their patriotism strong and their commitment to their family and nation in tack.
And years later, I also served in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). I served in Desert Storm in 1990, somewhere between Port of Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and the Kuwait City Airport. And now my sons, Shane and Tyler, continue the Wise-family legacy in the USMC.
But my family is not unique; we are like countless other families who support our nation’s mission. Families who selflessly separate in support of sending their sons and daughters off to wear this country’s uniforms. That’s why the support of FedEx for the Trees for Troops program means so much to me…it reminds me of the honor and commitment of families across our nation. It is one very small opportunity to say “thank you” for their sacrifice of upholding the tradition of honor, courage and commitment. You humble me, but also make me proud.
Trees for Troops brings together FedEx, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and tree farmers across America to deliver real Christmas trees to service members stationed across the U.S. and overseas. Since the Trees for Troops program launched in 2005, FedEx has shipped more than 157,000 real Christmas trees to service members and their families—covering every branch of the military at more than 60 bases in 17 countries.
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November 10, 2016
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