A Holiday Logistics Story: Christmas Tree Shipment Destined for U.S. Troops in Iraq

U.S. Army Reserve partners with Port Authority of NY & NJ, DHL and local businesses to ship 75 trees, lights, decorations to Baghdad

U.S. Army Reserve partners with Port Authority of NY & NJ, DHL and local businesses to ship 75 trees, lights, decorations to troops in Baghdad

Plantation, FL — November 19, 2004 — O.K., so it's a little early to start talking about Yule logs and eggnog, holiday wreaths and Christmas trees, but as Corporate America gears up to bear down for the last month of the year, perhaps a feel-good holiday story is just what we all need to help us make it through until vacations come rolling around at the end of December.

And besides, there's a logistics angle, too. (Sort of — work with me, people.)

So here goes.

Today a special delivery of 75 Christmas trees heads for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, from where the trees will be flown to Camp Anaconda in Iraq to help spread holiday cheer among U.S. troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The shipment has been made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Army Reserve 77th Regional Readiness Command, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, DHL, Dee's Nursery and local New York businesses.

The 75 Christmas trees, which are being donated by Dee's Nursery in Nassau County, Long Island, will be loaded onto a 53-foot DHL truck this morning for transport to DHL's Gateway at JFK. Nassau County Police, the Port Authority Police and a DHL helicopter will escort the shipment to the airport, where the trees will be loaded onto pallets in preparation for the journey to Iraq. Christmas lights donated by the Port Authority and ornaments donated by members of the Port Authority Police, John F. Kennedy Command, will accompany the shipment so that each tree can be festively decorated.

The Christmas trees, lights and decorations are due to arrive on Monday, November 22, at Camp Anaconda in Baghdad, from where they will be distributed by soldiers of the 77th Regional Readiness Command to U.S. military camps and facilities across Iraq.
Approximately 2,000 soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve 77th Regional Readiness Command, a combat support and service unit based at historic Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens, New York, are currently serving in Iraq. Soldiers from this command unit are responsible for performing a range of transportation, logistical, engineering, security and medical duties.

The 301st Area Support Group of the 77th Command has been assigned the task of distributing the Christmas trees to U.S. military camps within Iraq after their arrival on Monday.

"This is a wonderful gift for our soldiers and reflects the true spirit of the Christmas season," said Richard S. Colt, major general commander with the 77th Regional Readiness Command. "I want to express my sincere gratitude to all who have blessed us and our soldiers in Iraq with their generosity."

"DHL is delighted to be able to support this effort to spread the spirit of the season among the thousands of troops who will not be home for the holidays," said Fred Beljaars, executive vice president for operations at DHL.

"The Port Authority Police are honored to help bring holiday cheer to the brave soldiers fighting against terrorism and for the liberation of the Iraqi people," said Dan Carbonaro, port authority police lieutenant and U. S. Army Vietnam veteran. "We want them to know that we appreciate their sacrifices and that they are not forgotten."