WHITEHOUSE, OH (Toledo News Now) - The holiday spirit kicked off Friday with a holiday tradition at a local Christmas tree farm. It's a way to say "thanks" to those who serve or have served our country.
But the Christmas trees are free at the Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm if you're a veteran, still actively serving in the military, or have a family member who is. The program is called "Trees for Troops."
Farm owner Duke Wheeler started the tradition at the beginning of the Gulf War.
"They're serving us, protecting us, their families deserve something special. A Christmas tree is something special to us," said Wheeler.
Vietnam veteran Robert E. Lee Stewart is picking out and picking up his tree. He wants all vets to know Wheeler is the kind of patriotic guy who believes in helping those who have or are still proudly serving our country.
"I made a pact with God when I was in Vietnam that I'll fight for those who cannot fight. I'll run for those who cannot walk. I'll scream for those who cannot talk. People like him help me make sure I can do that and let veterans know these type of people who care," said Stewart.
Wheeler won't say how many free trees he's giving away, he'll just give away as many as he has to.
Stewart is another satisfied customer.