To the Editor:

I am writing to express my appreciation to the thousands of volunteers who helped make it possible for the Friends of Central Texas Veterans Cemetery to place a wreath at every grave site at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery & Columbaria this past weekend.

A heartfelt thank you to those who served on the leadership committee, section captains, the Combat Vets Motorcycle association, the larger motorcycle community, local city governments, law enforcement and chambers of commerce, MG Gilland, III Corps and Fort Hood, the Texas Veterans Land Board, Towne Services, Pastor Darin Pound, our park and ride partners — Killeen Independent School District and Texas A&M University-Central Texas, the ROTC students from Texas A&M University, the local press and the selfless volunteers who turned out to prepare and place the wreaths at the cemetery during the busy holiday weekend. This effort would not be successful without each and every one of you.

I am particularly pleased that this continues to be a project without limits. Neighbors from throughout Central Texas pitched in with their money and their hard work. This cemetery serves a large region and help came from many miles away to honor our veterans and their families. Particularly the cities of Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Salado, Georgetown, Temple, Hutto and Lampasas, who organized and manned entire sections of the cemetery.

This does not go unnoticed by the Texas Veterans Land Board — the state agency that operates our cemetery. The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery continues to be a shining star among the four state veterans cemeteries throughout Texas and we carry out our mission with 100% of funds being donated and with no paid staff.

To say that I am proud of this community would be a serious understatement. I am overwhelmed by your generosity — of money and time.

Your heartfelt pride in our country and our community was evident at every step of the way and was outwardly visible in the almost 13,000 beautiful wreaths that adorned the cemetery and columbaria where those who gave so much now rest.

The committee has already begun planning for the 2022 holiday season and we know that the community will once again support this effort to honor our veterans and their families.

We will retrieve the wreaths on Jan. 8, 2022, at 10 a.m., and we know that we can count on you to help once again.

Dates for the preparation, laying and retrieval of the wreaths can be found on our website, www.wreathsforvets.org.

With sincere thanks,

Jean Shine

President, Friends of Central Texas Veterans Cemetery

“Wreaths for Vets”

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