KILLEEN -- More than 7000 wreaths now mark the graves in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery after the 10th annual Wreaths for Vets service. Wreaths for Vets collects and cleans wreaths for the event every year so hundreds of volunteers can honor those laid to rest by placing the wreaths at each grave.
"I can't thank you enough," said Ret. Col. Matt Elledge of the Texas Veterans Land Board as he spoke during the service. "Some of you have family out there, some of you are just here out of respect... and our communities, you are out there for them."
The service concluded with large wreaths being placed on the memorial stones in front of the cemetery, where Gold Star family members took a few minutes to remember their loved ones.
"it's overwhelming really. It's comforting but overwhelming. It's good to know that our loved ones wont be forgotten." Cindy Hildner said. "It's a difficult time for Gold Star families to make it through the holidays."
In less than an hour the graves were covered. Some by volunteers, others by family members who brought other things to remember loved ones by.
"We have people who have moved away so we make sure that we put wreaths on the graves and then take pictures to send them." Kathy Holderby said. "I think it shows respect for the service they gave. It's kind of a hard thing... We can continue to honor them and their service by keeping their cemetery neat."
Wreaths for Vets said they will continue the tradition every year, but as the cemetery grows they need more and more support to make the event happen.
If you would like to support Wreaths for Vets, visit their website at www.wreathsforvets.org