Holiday wreaths to decorate graves of military members

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National organization remembers veterans during the month of December.

By Richard Montemayor

Wreaths Across America is a national organization of volunteers who honor military personnel who have died by placing a Christmas wreath on their headstone.

Norma Davies, an academic unit assistant in this college’s journalism department, is a volunteer for the organization. In 2012 she lost her dad to cancer. He was a master sergeant in the U.S. Army for 22 years.

Davies said she got involved with the organization the same year she lost her dad. She was shopping at Walmart with her husband when they saw a big truck from the organization in the parking lot and met Judy Carlile, who leads the local chapter.

“When I saw the truck and when she told me what they have done, losing my dad … was still so fresh, so I definitely wanted to get involved,” Davies said.

Throughout the year the organization organizes events like the international veterans’ tributes, ceremonies at state houses and a weeklong Veterans Parade that starts in Maine and ends in Virginia. The December wreath-placing started in Arlington National Cemetery, and has grown to a statewide event at military cemeteries across the country.

The San Antonio Express-News reported last Dec. 14 as many as 2,000 people were expected to flock to the Fort Sam Houston cemetery to pay homage to the fallen by placing wreaths on nearly 113,000 headstones.

The goal for the local chapter is to place one wreath for each headstone at Fort Sam. The organization is open to anyone who would like to join.

This year’s ceremony is at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and is open to the public.

For more information, contact Carlile at 210-861-8037 or


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