Lynnwood man seeking community’s help to send holiday messages to military families

The tree is dedicated to the Gold Star Mothers and other military families. (Photos courtesy of Patrick Crosby)

Lynnwood resident Patrick Crosby, who collected holiday messages last year to send to military families, is hoping the community will help send more messages this year.

Last year, Crosby erected a 14-foot Christmas tree in his front yard decorated with photos of military members who died serving their country and asked community members to write messages to the families. He received 125 messages to send to families from people of all ages.

“There’s nothing like getting a letter from a child,” he said.

With a larger tree — 18 feet — this year, Crosby said he’s aiming for 500 messages. Crosby said the bigger tree allowed him to add more photos. Last year’s tree included 50 photos of local dead military members and ornaments. This year, Crosby said this year will feature anywhere from 50 to 200 photos.

“I’m getting rid of the ornaments and it’ll be all soldiers,” he said.

Patrick Crosby erected an 18-foot tree in front of his home decorated with photos of fallen military service members. (Photos courtesy of Patrick Crosby)

Crosby puts a lot of time and care into decorating the tree, placing each camera in a clear ornament so it can be seen and protected. When he has to cut photos to make them fit in an ornament, Crosby said he keeps the trimmings and returns them to the parents.

“I can’t even throw away the croppings,” he said. “That is somebody’s son or daughter and it’s not garbage, not one piece of it.”

Messages will be displayed on Crosby’s gate in front of his home, where a sign dedicated to the American Gold Star Mothers is hung.

The biggest change this year is people won’t have to come to his residence to write a message. Instead, messages can be mailed to 6406 208th St. S.W., Lynnwood, WA  98036. Military families are also welcome to bring photos of their service member to be added to the tree.

The tree was donated by Campbell’s Tree Farm in Snohomish County and the photos were provided by the American Gold Star Mothers. Crosby said he plans to send the messages to the families in January.

Crosby chairs the Northwest chapter of The Xtreme Couture GI Foundation — a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for military members wounded in action and their families. He also works in the area with people suffering from addiction and said he plans to add another tree dedicated to the families of those who died from their addictions called the “Mourning Tree.”

“Every year is going to be better than the year before,” he said.

–By Cody Sexton

  1. Thursday: 12/17/2020

    Good Work Patrick – You Back up your Words and Beliefs with Action!!

  2. This is great, and my family wants to write letters. My question is… Are we writing to families who are actively in the military or families who have lost someone in the military? This will help us in our writings.

  3. Great job Patrick…you do fantastic work with the families. Thank you for honoring the fallen. We will never forget them.

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