Planning is underway for the 2016 Wreaths Across America Escort to Arlington National Cemetery in December, and there are a few spaces left on our VIP bus for Gold Star/Blue Star families, veterans, and guests. It's not an event, rather an experience that's life-changing.
The journey begins in Washington County, Maine where the fresh balsam fir remembrance wreaths are produced and packed for trucking throughout the nation for National Wreaths Across America Day, Saturday, December 17th.
The convoy involves law enforcement personnel, Patriot Guard Riders, other escort vehicles, the Grand Marshal (2016 Grand Marshal to be announced soon!), Chevy-wrapped Wreaths Across America vehicles, and twelve tractor trailers filled with wreaths.
If you would like to be considered as a participating guest, you'll need to plan for the adventure to last a week. To endure the long days and evenings that include multiple visits at schools and other community locations planned along the escort route, participants must be ambulatory, not require special assistance, or have other physical limitations. Convoy participants are responsible for paying for their hotel accommodations each evening. The convoy travels from Maine to Virginia. Meals are provided by extraordinary volunteers and service club members who participate at each of our educational stops and ceremonies. Where food is not provided, participants must pay for their own meals.
Inspirational, heart-warming, patriotic, reaffirming, and educational are all words used to describe the events during the trip as Wreaths Across America carries out its mission to remember, honor, and teach along the way.
If you would like to take part in this empowering journey to remember, honor, and teach, please email:email@example.com as soon as possible. Seats on the VIP bus are limited.
"We have a dedicated group of compassionate people who come together to help military veterans," Rebecca explains. "If someone reaches out to us and says 'hey we need help getting a veteran's roof shingled' then we try to get it done."
“Every year we have so many professional drivers, bikers, police officers and other first responders, ask us how they can get involved, even if they can’t transport wreaths,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America.
"There are a lot of similarities between the military and the trucking industry," Rob explains. "I think that's why you see a lot of veterans successful as truck drivers."
Johnny Vet: Freedom Isn’t Free is a dynamic and inspirational musical journey of the men and women who have fought the nation’s wars and how those same men and women, as veterans, have helped to shape the nation and its destiny.
"History can be studied in many ways, and it's important to do so for a contextual understanding of the journey taken by an individual, organization, or nation."
"It's heart-wrenching to see that and participate in that, Rick shares. "To see all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles waiting there to have a wreath to place on their family member's headstone, there are just no words for it, none."
"We're just Moms who serve through the organization to make sure that our children's names and lives are not forgotten."
From our standpoint, it's a relatively small thing to do, and we're proud to be a part of the 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.
Luann started her volunteer efforts with Wreaths Across America in 2015 after hearing about it from a friend who was participating with her DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) group. She's working to sponsor wreaths to cover all of the known heroes laid to rest at Oaklawn.