BEEBE, Ark. – There is a Memorial Day and a Veterans Day, however, there is an organization that tries to honor our military veterans every day of the year.
Wreaths Across America is a national organization that honors fallen American soldiers by laying wreaths at all graves in Arlington National Cemetery every December 17. However, every other day of the year they are on the road to make stops to help people remember, honor and talk about our veterans.
“We love veterans and honor veterans,” said DAR and WAA President Polly Conway Chapter Jayne Spears. “Especially with today being Patriots Day commemorating the start of the American Revolution.”
They can go on the road thanks to their traveling educational kiosk. After entering the exhibit, there are storyboards along the walls that explain the history of the organization. There is also a space where they honor current military veterans of Vietnam. The icing on the cake is the mini movie theater where they show videos about the importance of their wreaths.
“Veterans are sometimes overlooked and not given the respect they deserve,” Spears added.
On Monday, one of the veterans they honored with a lapel pin and a special coin is Larry Winchell. He currently powers, drives and performs maintenance on Beebe school buses, but was part of a bomb damage assessment team in Vietnam. He was also in the Cold War.
“It was overwhelming, I admit. It was heartfelt,” Winchell said. “I don’t consider myself a hero. I just did what I was supposed to do. I joined the army because I thought I had to.
Winchell says he loves that Wreaths Across America educates the younger generation about what veterans have been through.
“I think that’s the most important thing,” Winchell said. “It’s not what I did, but what all the military have done and you can do it too.”