Wreath prep

Ina and Isyss Sykes help prepare wreaths for veterans' graves at the Killeen Special Events Center last year.

Honoring deceased veterans takes a lot of hands.

During the upcoming holiday season, wreaths will be placed on more than 7,000 graves at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Preparation of this year’s wreaths will take place Saturday, and volunteers of all ages are welcome to give of their time to honor the men and women who served in the military.

“We need lots of busy little hands,” said Jean Shine, president of the Friends of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

The artificial wreaths need to be unpacked, the bow attached and the greens “fluffed” prior to being transported to the cemetery next Saturday for placement on the graves.

“Anyone who hasn’t done it before, we’re happy to teach them how,” Shine said. “Those who have sensitive hands might want to wear gloves.”

A new type of wreath has been added this year. Six-inch mini-wreaths will be hung at points on the 16 columbariums that hold over 800 urns of veterans’ cremated remains.

Previously, the wreaths for the columbariums had to be laid on the ground beneath the wall, due to their large size.

The Friends of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery was organized to make sure each veteran buried in the cemetery is honored and remembered.

Fundraisers are held during the year to raise money for the wreaths, such as the Ride for Wreaths in September.

The wreath prep will be as much fun as it is work, Shine said. “It’s just a family event for the community.”

The wreaths will be prepared at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Killeen Special Events Center, 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive.

For more information, go to wreathsforvets.org.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

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