Volunteers are needed to help pick up thousands of wreaths as part of an annual program at the veterans cemetery in Killeen.

The wreath retrieval begins at 10 a.m. Jan. 12 at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 11463 State Highway 195. No registration is required to participate.

The Friends of Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery and volunteers prepared and placed more than 8,000 wreaths at the cemetery in November as part of the annual Wreath Project. Retrieval is the final event at which the wreaths are picked up, sorted and loaded onto trucks for storage until November.

Event parking will be available at the cemetery or by the park and ride system from Texas A&M University-Central Texas, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, but participants are advised to anticipate traffic and arrive early.

Since the cemetery opened in 2006, the community has come together every holiday season to prepare, lay and retrieve wreaths for each grave in memory and honor of those laid to rest. The Wreath Project is wholly supported by donations and volunteers.

On Thursday morning, Danny Higdon was in the wreath-filled cemetery, visiting his son’s grave: Staff Sgt. Kristopher Allan Higdon.

Like many of the veterans there, Higdon said his son is “gone but never forgotten.”

For more information about supporting the Wreath Project, visit wreathsforvets.org.

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