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Engineer brigade presents holiday tree to local community

Published: 02:04PM December 20th, 2013
Engineer brigade presents holiday tree to local community

Sgt. Christopher Prows

Roy city Mayor Karen Yates and Santa talk to a young boy during a gathering before the city of Roy's annual holiday tree lighting event Dec. 6. The tree was provided by the 555th Engineer Brigade to build upon the already strong partnership that exists with the city.

ROY, Wash. — Visit any town in Washington state and chances are you will see a festive sparkling evergreen tree, lit up in all its glory in front of city hall.

For the city of Roy, the tradition of obtaining their holiday tree is slightly different than neighboring communities, they turn to a group of experts.

Soldiers from 555th Engineer Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord joined the townspeople of Roy singing carols in front of the city hall during a tree lighting ceremony, Dec. 6. The Triple Nickel brigade donated an evergreen tree to continue fostering its connection with the small town located on the southeastern side of JBLM.

“The city of Roy is very fortunate to partner with the 555th Engineer Brigade,” said Roy’s Mayor Karen Yates. “This tree is an annual symbol to the city that the unit supports them.”

Four days prior, the mayor met the engineer brigade on JBLM to select a tree from a forested area on post and assist in cutting it down. Yates gave one good swing of an ax to the tree before the engineer brigade finished it off with a chainsaw and delivered it the following morning.

“It is our pleasure to (donate a tree) and continue a partnership with the city,” said Col. Timothy Holman, Triple Nickel’s commander. “We want to find ways to expand our partnership to the city of Roy. We would be more than willing to send soldiers out here to assist the community (in any way possible).”

Command Sergeant Major Stanley Hood Sr., Triple Nickel’s senior enlisted adviser, said, “This is the season for sharing and giving back to the local communities.”

The community came together in the local library before the lighting ceremony to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and mingle with the members of the Triple Nickel that came out to attend the event.

“It’s great to interact with the community,” Hood said.

As the lighting ceremony began, the community gathered around the tree in the brisk air with lit candles in hand to sing holiday carols.

The tree will remain lit in the city hall garden until the new year.

Once the holiday season is over, the tree will be taken down, chopped into firewood and given back to the community to help heat homes for the winter.