Oceanside nursery helps deliver holiday cheer to troops overseas

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OCEANSIDE -

An event in Oceanside uses the season of giving to show appreciation for the troops who will not be home for the holidays.

The 15th annual Trees for Troops at Dees' Nursery teams up with DHL to donate and deliver free Christmas trees and more to U.S. service members stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year, 500 trees, dozens of Hanukkah menorahs, gifts and handwritten notes are being shipped to military bases in those countries.

On Monday morning, packing took place at the nursery. Afterward, local police departments helped escort the boxes and trees to the DHL gateway facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"We have a Christmas tree farm in the state of Maine, we bring the trees down and luckily ... DHL gets it to the Middle East, straight to the U.S. bases," says Joe DiDominica, of Dees' Nursery.

Marianna Winchester, of Rockville Centre, lost her son Ronald when he was killed in action years ago. She says he loved receiving his tree while serving in Iraq.

"It was part of home – he wasn't here physically with me, but he knew the love and support the people had here for the troops," she says.

WATCH: Extended interview with Marianna Winchester

The plane with the trees and boxes on board is expected to arrive Thursday.

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