Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization that raises money to place fresh wreaths on headstones at national and state cemeteries for Christmas. They also place flags on Independence Day and Memorial Day. Their mission: to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
Last year, Kristin and I flew out to support Bre and Team Bear in placing the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. I had no idea what to expect and to say I was blown away is an extreme understatement. We walked to the cemetery with our friends Torrie and Jeff from the hotel, it was a little over 2 miles and the entire way there were hundreds of people walking in the same direction. When we reached the cemetery there were tens of thousands of people all gathered together ready to place wreaths. I heard the actual number was over 200,000 people. The walk is quiet but a feeling of pride and patriotism filled
We knew to meet Bre and the rest of Team Bear at a certain section so we headed that way. When I walked up I did my best to choke back the tears. I saw dozens of widows, some that I know well and some that I had never met. It was like a punch in the gut, that here I am to place a wreath on a headstone, which sounds so minimal but the meaning just got so much deeper. That isn’t just a headstone. That is an empty seat at the dinner table, that is a daddy that isn’t going to take his son to baseball practice, that is a husband that can’t fix the kitchen sink when its leaking, that is a dad that won’t walk his daughter down the aisle. That headstone is freedom at its highest price and extreme pain to his family. And guess what? His family is here. His family is next to me laying a wreath for the families that can’t make it.
When we were leaving the cemetery we passed the War Memorial for the Battle of Iwo Jima. Another punch in the gut and feeling of pride rushed over me. A generation that loved his country more than oneself. A generation that was filled with pride and patriotism. The men and women who defend our country deserve to be remembered. They deserve to be honored. It is our duty to set examples for our youth and teach them to remember and honor. Team Bear has a mission to cover every headstone that doesn’t have a family bringing a wreath. Team Bear will represent that family and work in unity to show the love and the respect to all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s $15 a wreath. GET A WREATH NOW!
Bre is a phenonomal woman. She has an amazing career, she’s a military spouse and she devotes her extra time to her team that she created within Wreaths Across America, “Team Bear”. She has been doing this for several years and even won the “Remember Award” for her fundraising efforts. She does this with honor and respect for the Gold Star families. She is passionate and devoted to this and I am extremely honored and proud to call her my friend.
We will be hosting a fundraiser together on Oct 1 in Houston and hope you can join.