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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Wreath retrieval rescheduled for Sat. 21

Wreath  retrieval  rescheduled for Sat. 21

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By Shannon Myres
Evening Star

 

Friends of Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery (FCTSVC) is seeking volunteers to help in the retrieval process of the wreaths that have been on the grounds since the end of November for the annual holiday wreath project.
November, thousands of community members and family members of those resting at the cemetery came together, placing over 7,000 wreaths for the holiday season.
FCTSVC is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts behind the purchasing, transporting, storing, and laying out the holiday wreaths. The annual wreath project relies on 100 percent of donations, volunteers, and community support.
“It’s a massive job…for those that can come out, we sure appreciate them. Everyone is welcome to come,” said Shine executive board member of Wreath for Vets.
The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery serves a 100-mile radius, encompassing 44 counties, making it the final resting place of 7,200 veterans and their family members.
The wreaths are usually scheduled for retrieval on the second Saturday of January, but was postponed due to the stormy weather.
In order to maintain the integrity of the wreaths, the wreaths must be put into storage without any moisture.
“We can’t load them up in damp or wet conditions because of the proximity of them and a whole storage truck full of wreaths top to bottom, mildew and such will ruin them,” said Bill Shine,
The wreath retrieval is scheduled for Jan. 21 at 10:00 a.m. The Texas A&M Central Texas University campus has provided parking for the event with buses running at 8:45 a.m. to the cemetery. It is recommended to arrive early due to traffic.
Approximately, 800 to 1,000 wreath retrieval volunteers usually arrive on Saturday. The process typically lasts around three hours.
“It’s always heartening to me and everyone else involved with the wreaths to see the number of volunteers do show up from young children to people into the 80’s and 90’s show up to help and a lot of the groups as well,” said Shine.
Each and every volunteer is greatly needed due to the continually growing number of around 800 new graves every year.
“The volunteerism and the spirit of the community to do that is just amazing to me,” said Shine.
For more information regarding the wreath retrieval process, volunteering opportunities, or to make a monetary donation, visit, www.wreathsforvets.org. For checks through the mail, make payable to “Wreaths for Vets” 100 West Central Texas Expressway, Suite 302, Harker Heights, TX 76548.

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