Copperas Cove DECA students and class officers wanted to do a project that was meaningful this holiday season.

They wanted to give back to those who sacrificed for the freedom enjoyed today.

Students spent the last two weekends making hundreds of wreaths and then laying them at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery along with thousands of other volunteers for the seventh annual event.

DECA President Mathew Larson said veterans are such a big part of the community and the project was the best way they could show their appreciation.

“So many of us have loved ones that are a part of the armed forces, giving up so much for us to have the freedom we have. So many have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Larson said. “The (wreath laying) experience was awesome. It was a feeling of hope, excitement and satisfaction.”

Nearly 200 motorcycles and a semi-tractor trailer carried the 5,000 wreaths to the cemetery Nov. 30.

Kaylyn Kirkpatrick is the president of the CCHS sophomore class.

“The wreath fluffing experience was a lot of fun, but it was also extremely humbling,” Kirkpatrick said. “To know that such a large number from the community was willing to get together to help honor those who have served us gave me chills.”

DECA adviser Charlotte Heinze said the mission of DECA is to prepare students to be emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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