The Friends of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery recently announced its schedule for honoring deceased veterans at the Killeen veterans cemetery. The group and hundreds of volunteers prepare and lay thousands of wreaths during the holidays at the veterans cemetery in Killeen, home to more than 6,000 deceased veterans and their family members.
“I have some friends that are interred out here and some folks that I served with. It’s the right thing to do to come out here and memorialize them and honor them with respect,” retired Sgt. Maj. Geoffrey Harris said during the Ride for the Wreaths event — the major fundraiser for the wreaths project — a month ago.
Now, organizers are planning a follow-up fundraiser event at 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at Painting with a Twist, 7348 W. Adams Ave., in Temple. The “Painting with a Purpose” event is $45 per seat, and those interested can register by going to paintingwithatwist.com and clicking on the appropriate event.
The wreath preparation event, which involves fluffing and organizing thousands of wreaths, will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 21 at the Killeen Special Events Center, 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive. Anyone interested in volunteering can show up at the start time. Organizers said the preparation usually takes about two hours.
The wreaths will be laid at the cemetery beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 28, and buses will be available at the nearby Texas A&M University-Central Texas to shuttle volunteers to the cemetery. Bikers who wish to escort the wreaths to the cemetery should meet at the Killeen Special Events Center by 8 that morning. Family members lay wreaths on their loved one’s graves first, organizers said.
The wreath retrieval will take place Jan. 9.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed throughout the effort. For more information, go to wreathsforvets.org.
Herald reporter JC Jones contributed to this report.