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12-04-07, 07:41 AM
Traveling Christmas tree will spend this year at home

By KATIE ALBERTI, T-R Staff Writer

UHRICHSVILLE – It’s been to Iraq and back and has made a few appearances in hospitals.

And now, after touching people’s lives for more than 25 years, Patsy Barnes of Uhrichsville is happy to have her Christmas tree back at her house, patiently waiting for the next time she’ll send it to someone to spread some Christmas cheer.

During the holidays in 1980, Barnes said her husband, William L. Barnes, was sick in the hospital with emphysema. Since there was no tree in his room, Barnes said she got a 13-inch tree, draped in white lights and decorations, for him.

In 2005, the tree went international. Because her grandson, Cpl. William Brown, 21, was stationed in Iraq with the Marines, Barnes said she decided to send him the tree because “it only seemed fitting that he had one.”

Barnes said Brown, who is formerly of New Philadelphia and now lives in California, was happy to receive the present.

“It made his Christmas,” she said. “He repacked it after Christmas and sent it back. ... I just can’t believe it’s been to Iraq and back.”

Fortunately for Barnes, she won’t have to send the tree to Brown again. This year, she’s getting a traveling present – her grandson is coming home for the holidays.