Wreaths Across America Radio
Celebrating volunteerism in support of America’s military, their families and our veterans.
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On the Air for WAA Radio
Jerry Lyden is volunteering for Wreaths Across America Radio and has been entertaining audiences of radio, TV and film for many years. He began his broadcasting career in 1971 in Presque Isle, Maine first as a radio "jock" and then a TV news anchor. His radio career took him all across the country.
In late 1975 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He served until 1979 on active duty and until 1989 (achieving the rank of Captain) in the individual Ready Reserve, primarily as a Broadcast Officer. During his active duty tour Jerry was recognized by the Department of the Army, Department of Defense and the CLIO International Advertising Awards on fourteen different occasions for programming that he produced, directed and/or voiced. In 2011 Jerry founded Maine Streaming Media in Bangor, Maine where he produces audio books, voiceovers and audio accommodations for people with disabilities.
Susan Patten is employed by Wreaths Across America and brings her patriotism and passion to the organization as a multi-media journalist providing informational and educational media content for the organization’s web blog, social media platforms, and WAA Radio. She holds a B.S. in Communications and genuinely enjoys her interviews and interactions with our nation’s service men and women, their families and the proud, committed volunteers who support them.
Susan has an extensive background in broadcast journalism, nonprofit development, public speaking, and media relations.
Brian Nadeau is a Radio DJ enthusiast and has been most of his life. Inspiration first hit at age seven when he had an opportunity to watch professional announcers do their shows at a local radio station. His mother Beverly worked in broadcast sales, so Brian had great exposure to the craft. "Radio 62" with Don Clarke and Mike McCarty, who allowed him to quietly sit and observe their live air work cueing records and reading the news shaped his impression. Then during the mid 80’s & 90’s, Brian was a part and full-time announcer at radio stations: WABI, WPBC, WEZQ, WBGW, KISS-94/WKSQ in Bangor, Maine.
In addition to his professional sound announcing on WAA Radio, Brian is an accomplished musician and music educator. He’s passionate about volunteer voice work for Wreaths Across America Radio as a way to “pay it back“ in deep thanks and gratitude to our veterans.
Tobin Slaven is the director of outreach and communications for Wreaths Across America and has been with WAA since 2007. Tobin has contributed to the growth of a $10+ million budget, fueled by the organization's online presence, including an email list of 150,000+ volunteers, 1200 locations nationwide and approaching 300,000 fans on Facebook alone.
Special Program Features
Wreaths Across America’s Trucking Tributes: A weekly feature produced by Susan Patten airs daily Monday-Friday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00PM Eastern. Trucking Tributes is a profile on an individual, business or organization associated with the trucking industry that supports the Wreaths Across America mission.
"With NFI managing the logistics, the sky is the limit. They will help make the entire operation more efficient,” said Debbie Sparks, Director Corporate Development and Community Relations, Wreaths Across America.
"I always choose our drivers who are military veterans for these loads and they are proud and honored to have the opportunity to recognize our fallen heroes and their families."
Monica explains Maverick has a tremendous amount of pride hauling America's respect and not only do they assign the wreath loads to their drivers who are veterans but those drivers are some of the industry's best.
Brandon says last year spending time at Arlington National Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day with fellow employees of Cowan Systems, Inc. was an educational and humbling experience.
"It's been a dream of mine to go back to Arlington with my Mom to be a part of National Wreaths Across America Day to place remembrance wreaths on my grandparents' graves."
According to Gretchen CFI went above and beyond two years ago when they helped make her dream come true.
"When we did that project we had one hundred and thirty-five of our employees at that time who had served in the military and that's a big percentage of employees for one company. We think that it's important to recognize their service."
When asked if he could describe the power of the veterans' remembrance wreath he admitted it was a challenge to put into words, yet hesitated only for a moment.
It was, in fact, a competitor of Abilene Motor Express who reached out to them to tell them about Wreaths Across America and Will says once the owners, Keith and Kolen Jones heard about the effort they were one hundred percent behind it right away.
Kevin says driving Armellini's load of wreaths in the escort to VA National Cemetery in Lake Worth along with the Walmart trucks is a meaningful experience for him emotionally because of honoring veterans, but he says there's also a more physical kind of excitement as a professional driver.
"If we don't teach this younger generation that freedom is not free they're going to forget and not understand the sacrifice made by these men and women who keep us free and safe. I don't know where this country would be if not for the brave people who step up and volunteer to serve in our military. It's really scary to think of where we'd be without a powerful military."
Not only does Wade Gunter place a remembrance wreath on the headstone of a fallen service member at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), he says their name aloud when he props it against the stone. It's what Wade does next that takes the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach to a higher level.
"We're very fortunate to find carriers, veterans, and non-veterans that want to participate in the program. We get drivers every year who call us to get involved."
"When it comes to Wreaths Across America, we don't do what we do for the applause of men; we do it because of how important it is to the Gold Star families we've connected with over the years."
"We knew at the time it was inevitable he'd be deployed," Scott explains. "He was just a few days shy of being promoted to Sergeant when his Humvee hit an IED (improvised explosive device) in Iraq."
"They have to learn and understand the history to know of all the people who have given their lives to make this country what it is today. We're honored and proud to be part of Wreaths Across America and we look forward to being part of the future."
They know they have come to serve those who served us by placing a remembrance wreath on their headstone while saying their name. Like Al, every volunteer we speak with says they come away from the day knowing they have contributed to something so much bigger than themselves.
"As the saying goes we all gave some, but some gave all, and that resonates with me all the time," explains Vince. "This is our way of giving back and paying tribute to the fallen because those people are the heroes."
I knew I had the contacts in the trucking industry," Barry explains of his initial involvement with the organization. "I just had to get people to believe in Wreaths Across America they way I did."
Wreaths Across America’s Military Musicians Showcase: A feature produced by Susan Patten showcases America’s military musicians and their musical contributions combined with stories and information on the history of military music. Military Musicians Showcase airs Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM to Noon Eastern.
The September edition of the Military Musicians Showcase goes out to jazz lovers!
One highlight from this year's performance came when Six-String Soldiers invited children of all ages to the stage to sing along with them, the Rick Charrette song, I'm An American! It echoed through the valley where replica dog tags of fallen heroes hang among the balsam fir trees' tips that will be used to make veterans remembrance wreaths.
From the white wigs to the tailored red coats every aspect of the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is designed with history and field music in mind. The unit was formed in 1960 and according to SFC Martin was originally made up of non-musician infantrymen, harkening back to the field musicians of the Continental Army.
"I remember being in the cemetery years ago and seeing one section, it was the World War I section, near Fort Myer that was all covered in wreaths, and I was wondering who the heck put them there," Jari explains. "I know what struck me about it. It was an old section that no family members would be coming to visit."
Like any military maneuver, music performance requires individual excellence in a synchronized effort that requires discipline to achieve the desired goal.
Here's the link for I'm An American Lyrics: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/waa-blog/2017/2/9/im-an-american-yes-i-am
Here's the instrumental version of the song I'm An American:
About Wreaths Across America & WAA Radio
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at more than 1,200 veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and overseas.
Wreaths Across America Radio founded in 2014 as a 24/7 Internet stream provides patriotic music of all genres and informational content about members of the U.S. armed forces, their families, military veterans, and volunteers throughout the country and overseas who support the nonprofits’ mission to remember, honor and teach.
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org