Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks to soldier's employer, this Iraqi Christmas will include a little bit of Oregon

For Oregon Army National Guard Captain Chad Knowles, a fake Christmas tree just isn't going to cut it.

Especially since he and his fellow 1-82nd Cavalry A-Troop soldiers are spending most of this holiday season deployed to Iraq.

So with the help of his employer, High Impact Technology in Tigard, Ore., three fresh Christmas trees were shipped to Iraq from Oregon.

The Nobile fir, a Scotch Pine, and a Serbian Spruce--all addressed to Capt. Knowles--arrived at Camp Victory near Baghdad, on Dec. 3 via FedEx.

Kate Al-Sheikhly, office manager at High Impact got the request from Baghdad about two weeks ago.

"Chad was asking if it was possible to ship a Christmas tree for his troops," she said.

Al-Sheikhly made a few phone calls and secured three trees. The spruce and pine are balled up and wrapped in burlap. The Noble fir is a gift from Clackamas County Tree Marketing Association in Corbett.

Knowles' wife Melynda said the several fake trees already there with the members of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq weren't good enough.

She said her husband told her his soldiers are from Oregon, and he wanted them to "smell the tree, to feel it, and to be as close to home as possible."

But Christmas is nothing without sharing. Knowles intends to keep one tree for his men. The second tree will go to Maj. Micah Goettl, who is also in the 1-82nd Cavalry, and also works for High Impact's sister company, Composite Materials R & D.

The third tree currently has no owner, and is up for grabs, says Russ Monk, one of the founders at High Impact.

"A little piece of Oregon goes a long way," Monk said.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager

Special thanks to Paige Parker of The Oregonian for this story. To read the entire story, go here.

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