News: Operation ELF: supporting E-5 and below this Christmas
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - In an early exhibit of the Christmas hustle, service members and their families lined up outside the Marine Corps Exchange aboard the Laurel Bay Housing Community for a fir tree to celebrate the season, Nov. 27.
The event, part of Marine Corps Community Services’ Operation ELF initiative, allowed military families of service members E-5 and below to take home a fir tree at no cost.
More than 175 trees, purchased by MCCS, were distributed as part of the event.
The staff from MCCS went over to the Marine Corps Exchange an hour before the scheduled time and already had service members lined up outside, said DaNeil Cox, the MCCS Marine Corps Family Team Building director. It was really exciting and never happened before.
Operation ELF is a series of holiday events that are scheduled to ensure Tri-Command service members have a joyful holiday season this year.
“It’s a nice thing to do,” said Cox, whom was also at the event distributing trees to the families. “It gives us an opportunity to be out in the community and meet the families and be recognized as people here on base that can help out.”
The program is designed to give back to military families for all they sacrifice throughout the year and create an enjoyable holiday season.
“Military families are so busy and to add on top of that the holiday,” said Cox. “How great is it to drive up, show your [identification card], and pick up a Christmas tree?”
For families with deployed Marines, a helping hand was offered to assist with the spread of holiday cheer.
“We had elves out there to help families whose Marines are deployed,” said Cox. “[Marines should know that] while they’re deployed, their family is taken care of during the holiday season.”
The Christmas tree is a family tradition that helps to celebrate the holidays and has been associated with Christmas for centuries with origins dated as far back as the Middle Ages.
The generous offerings provided extra joy in the Tri-Command communities.
For more information on events this holiday season visit MCCS’ website at www.mccs-sc.com.