U.S. Coast Guard completes holiday Christmas tree tradition

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is doing what they can to help families who need a little extra help this holiday season. The crew loaded 1,300 Christmas trees onto the ship to prepare for the Christmas Ship celebration.

After all the trees are loaded, the ship will travel to Chicago where the trees will be given out to families who can't afford a tree this year. The crew says days like today help them get into the holiday spirit.

U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw crew member James Nieman says, "Each year we look forward to doing this, to help people in need and to give back to the community, it's a really good break for us from the daily grind and it's a good opportunity to make a difference."

"There's no other thing like it because I can actually see the children and their faces of how excited they're going to be and I like being a part of Christmas tradition and bringing cheer to families," said U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw crew member Nicole Billow.

This year marks 100 years since the tradition was started by the original ship, the Schooner Rouse Simmons.