Wreaths Across America is an annual event. It takes place throughout the country and United States military cemeteries overseas, along with those buried at sea. Wreaths Across America coordinated wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 3,700 locations in 2022.
This column is not only about the event, it will also cover those that sponsor and donate wreaths along with the volunteers that help.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 (VVA1095) has one of the events in Delaware County. Our ceremony takes place in the Veterans West location in Oak Grove Cemetery. Most of the wreaths we receive are placed on veterans’ graves in Oak Grove Cemetery along with Saint Mary Cemetery. Some of the wreaths are also placed in some other Delaware cemeteries.
Our chapter insures that we place a wreath on the graves of our members that have passed away, along with the Delaware County Vietnam KIAs. For those that are not buried in Delaware County, we send their wreath to their location and are able to have someone place them on the grave. One Delaware County Vietnam KIA is buried in Arlington National Cemetery; his wreath is sent to another honorable location for display.
Last December, we received 1,180 wreaths. It is nice that the wreaths that are sponsored and donated are increasing. Our goal is to eventually place a wreath at all veterans’ graves. Here is an attempt to thank those that have sponsored and donated wreaths.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles # 376 is a corporate level sponsor and has been for a few years. Our chapter, VVA1095, is also always a corporate level sponsor. There is also a group of major contributor sponsors as follows: Hiram Masonic Lodge #17 F. & A.M., Delaware County Veterans Service Office, Ladies Auxiliary/Social Fund #376, Snyder-Rodman Funeral Home, VFW # 8736, Delaware County Republican Womens’ Club, Hoffman/Myers Purple Heart Chapter 148, Michael Rubin, Kim D. & William Jantausch, Jr., Everett (Dick) & Judy Patrick, Jillian Enderle, Bethany Majovsky, Tracy Relyea, and Chris Henry.
Next is a list of high level sponsors that we are aware of: Georgann Kneipp, Laurine Taynor, John W. Quail, Jr., Richard Predmore, Nathan Kendjorsky, Jeff Caudill, Maggie Storck, Dorothy Piehi, Linda Stoverock, Marianne Hemmeter, Nathan Kendjorsky, Christy Hammond, Sarah M Spivey, John & Loretta McAllister, Gary & Nancy Bell, Bruce & Becky Yerian, Harold & Linda Wolford, Randall & Jennifer Fuller, and Amy Hall.
Here are more donors at various levels: Keith & JoAnn Holzer, Ben Burke, Brian Eizensmits, Mike Herman, Charles Zech, Ken Davenport, Michael & Shelley Kuhn, Lee Closson, Sonia & David Wilson, Jim Crosbie, Tim House, Marvin & Betsy Shamhart, Rebecca Evans, Marisa Varasso Berlin, Larry Hopper, Steven Hauge, Jeffrey Hill, J Phillip Peterson, Tiffany L Smith, Vickie Adams, Natasha Decker, Carla Enderle, Heather Enderle, Amy Stolarski, Margaret Pluciniczak, Elizabeth Schmidt, Marilou Nelson, Tara Bergstedt, Mary Ellen Parker, Lyndsey Parker, Vickie Goble, Hollen Rebecca, Tara Bergstedt, Nathan Kendjorsky, Audrey Fayad, Stephanie Montgomery, Robert Mayhugh, Chris Henry, Jennifer Stamolis, Tiffany L Smith, Barbara Smith, Catherine Bouillon, Sarah Salvatori, Nancy Ryser, Molly Purcell, Konrad Schiefer, Holly Schiefer, Marisa Varasso Berlin, Nathan Kendjorsky, Jeri Scott, and Mia Leone.
If I have missed listing anyone, you can let me know. There are also people that make donations for wreaths at some of our other events, without providing their name. We would like to thank those people at the same level of all the others. Our chapter participates in First Friday during most of the year. We provide information about us, our events, provide handouts and accept donations. We also do the same things during the Delaware County Fair in September.
Our chapter would also like to thank volunteers that help us during the Wreath Across America event. We always get between around 100 to 150 volunteers. They place the wreaths on veterans’ graves and help with the flag refresh during the event. I do not have names of all the volunteers to be able to personally thank them. A lot of the volunteers are sponsors and donors of the wreaths. There are also always a lot of people that just volunteer to come and help. They are all greatly appreciated.
There are five registered groups that are part of the location event at Oak Grove Cemetery and Saint Mary Cemetery. These groups are Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 – Group ID OH0144, Delaware Foot and Ankle Wellness Center – Group ID OH0220, Delaware Saint Mary Catholic Church – Group ID OH0241, Rutherford B. Hayes High School – Group ID OH0244, and American Heritage Girls (Saint Mary, Delaware) – Group ID OH0253P.
The Wreaths Across America theme has been changed this year. It is now Serve & Succeed. We would also like to keep in mind their past theme of REMEMBER the Fallen… HONOR those who Serve… TEACH our children the value of Freedom in mind.
On Dec. 16 at noon, VVA1095 will be helping Oak Grove Cemetery and Saint Mary Cemetery to Remember and Honor our veterans by laying Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes. There are around 3,000 total veterans buried in these two cemeteries, with over 11,000 veterans buried in Delaware County.
Please help us honor and remember as many fallen heroes as possible by sponsoring remembrance wreaths, volunteering on Wreaths Day, or inviting your family and friends to attend with you. Wreaths Across America is basically a yearlong event that most of the year is to work with sponsors and donors. We are happy that you are willing to help with our Wreaths Across America ceremony at Oak Grove Cemetery and Saint Mary Cemetery. Thank you so much for supporting the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 and Wreaths Across America!
If you would like more information or contact us, there are various ways. You can email or write to us. Our email address is [email protected] Our mailing address is Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095, P. O. Box 283, Delaware, Ohio 43015. You may also visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org for more information and things that are available. It is really good to know everything that is available and what they do.