HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Reservists in the 419th Operations Group donated a very special Christmas tree to the annual Festival of Trees, a popular holiday event that raises support for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Members of the OG decked the military-themed tree with custom F-35 ornaments, signed by pilots in the 466th Fighter Squadron. The display, set to be auctioned this week, includes items purchased and donated by members of the group – flight suit, jacket, boots, framed art, and stockings stuffed with squadron stickers and patches.
“We dedicated this tree to the daughter of one of our pilots who overcame cancer,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Cain, who began the project last year but has since taken a new job at 10th Air Force in Texas. “We wanted to show our support for the family, and this project was one way to bring everyone together and also give back to the community.”
Gracie, the daughter of Lt. Col. Nathan “Bear” Litz, faced stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014 and received treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital through 2016. Now, at age 9, she is in full remission.
“The hospital took care of our military family when they were going through a tough time,” Cain said. “The least we can do is help them take care of others.”