SAN ANTONIO – A nonprofit involved in laying wreaths on graves at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery is short on donations, and as a result, many may not get a wreath this holiday season.
“Walking down a row and there’s wreath after wreath after wreath on a grave, and all of a sudden, it gets to a section where your loved ones are buried, and the gravestone is bare, and it feels like they’re forgotten,” said David Bolser, CEO of the nonprofit Senior Veterans Incorporated.
Bolser said about 75% of the graves will not get a wreath because they don’t have enough donated. That’s why he is teaming up with Wreaths Across America to ensure those who served are remembered.
“We get to celebrate things like Veterans Day and Thanksgiving and Christmas and to do everything that we do on a normal day. We get to celebrate that and enjoy being with our family because of what they’ve done,” said Bolser.
Bolser calls on Military City USA residents to help meet the need. Wreaths Across America fundraising coordinator Matt Kostak said they only have enough for 12,000 wreaths.
“We’d love for this month to get at least (20,000) to 30,000 more headstones covered. I’d love to get a quarter of a cemetery filled again,” Kostak said.
He said the time to help is running out. The donation deadline is Nov. 28. A $17 donation buys one wreath for a headstone. Those interested in donating can do so by visiting SanAntonioHonor.com.
“They understand the sacrifices that all of the veterans and spouses have gone through. You see a lot of tears out there, but you see a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women who have served,” said Jim Cruz, event coordinator for Wreaths Across America.
Wreaths Across America said the wreaths will be placed on Dec. 16. The event is open to the public, and they expect around 5,000 volunteers to help get the job done. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here to learn more.