Wreaths Across America faces shortage of local donations as deadline approaches​

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By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

Time is running out to donate a wreath to the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, and this year, more wreaths are needed than ever before.

Chris and Mary Bush launched the local Wreaths Across America chapter in 2009, the same year their son - soldier Cpl. Peter Courcy of Frisco - was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Every year since, they've had the same goal: To raise enough holiday wreaths to honor every single veteran buried in the DFW National Cemetery.

Last year, for the first time, they reached that goal.

"It was just an overwhelming experience," Chris says. "We were so pleased to reach our goal of 43,400 wreaths."

But this year, the goal is bigger than ever: 46,600 wreaths are needed to cover every headstone in the cemetery. And the deadline is right around the corner, on Nov. 30.

"We are hopeful [we'll have enough wreaths for every headstone]," Chris says. "We're currently taking in about a thousand wreath donations a day. We're hoping as word gets out and more people hear about it, more people will start to donate."

He says at the current rate donations are coming in, there won't be enough wreaths by the deadline.  Still, Chris says he's not giving up. He says this mission is an important one, and it teaches a valuable lesson:

"Freedom isn't free," Chris says. "We know 2020 has been a different type of year … still, we want to honor all those who serve. We appreciate any support we can get."

Wreaths are $15 each. For every two wreaths donated a third will be added to the donation. Wreaths can be donated online at honordfw.com. You can also donate via phone by texting "WREATH1" to 20222. All donated wreaths are fresh and will be placed on the headstones by volunteers and family.

Usually, there is a large Wreaths Across America ceremony at the cemetery. This year - that won't be the case.
Because of the pandemic, no ceremony will be held. However, those with family members buried at the cemetery will be allowed to lay wreaths a couple of days early.

Family can lay wreaths Dec. 16 and 17 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The general public will be allowed to lay wreaths on Dec. 19 beginning at 11 a.m. Volunteers are required to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to reach out to the local chapter of Wreaths Across America at 972-668-2874.

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