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325th Force Support Squadron lights up for the holidays

A family poses for personal photos at the 325th Force Support Squadron holiday tree lighting ceremony at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The event consisted of the base commander, Col. Brian Laidlaw, lighting the big tree and also included carols sung by the Mosley High School Choir, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

A family poses for personal photos at the 325th Force Support Squadron holiday tree lighting ceremony at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The event consisted of the base commander, Col. Brian Laidlaw, lighting the big tree and also included carols sung by the Mosley High School Choir, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

A volunteer offers a cookie to an event attendee at the 325th Force Support Squadron holiday tree lighting ceremony at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The annual event was held at the base's Oasis Event Center, and was attended by service members, their spouses, dependents, local students and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

A volunteer offers a cookie to an event attendee at the 325th Force Support Squadron holiday tree lighting ceremony at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The annual event was held at the base's Oasis Event Center, and was attended by service members, their spouses, dependents, local students and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Children attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony hosted by the 325th Force Support Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The event was attended by service members, their spouses, dependents, local students, and retirees. The event also included carols sung by the Mosley High School Choir, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Children attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony hosted by the 325th Force Support Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The event was attended by service members, their spouses, dependents, local students, and retirees. The event also included carols sung by the Mosley High School Choir, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Service members, their spouses, dependents, local students, and retirees attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony hosted by the 325th Force Support Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The events was significant because it supported a sense of normalcy as the base continues to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Michael. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Service members, their spouses, dependents, local students, and retirees attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony hosted by the 325th Force Support Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 6, 2019. The events was significant because it supported a sense of normalcy as the base continues to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Michael. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 325th Force Support Squadron hosted a tree lighting ceremony at the Oasis Event Center, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida on Dec. 6, 2019. 

The tree lighting is an annual event held to kick off the holiday season.

“The tree lighting ceremony begins the countdown for the year and [gives us] a chance to reflect on our achievements as we prepare ourselves for the new year,” said Christy Lingenfelter, 325th Force Support Squadron community cohesion coordinator.

Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, had the honor of lighting the holiday tree.

“Traditions like this are important for us to continue,” said Laidlaw. “We find comfort and security in doing things we’ve always done.” 

Events such as the tree lighting are significant because they support a sense of normalcy as the base continues to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Michael.

“Holiday traditions bring us back together as a community by creating a sense of family in an otherwise chaotic world,” added Lingenfelter.

Airmen, their families, civilian employees, and retirees were invited to attend the event.

“Just as we have 75 times before, tonight we stand together as a base population, arm in arm with our community to carry on our tradition,” continued Laidlaw. “If only for a couple hours, we will enjoy the fellowship, listen to holiday music, and relax.”

Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy carols sung by the Mosley High School Choir, crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. Hot chocolate, hot cider, and cookies were also provided.