LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Wreaths Across America has a mission to remember, honor and teach when placing Christmas wreaths on the graves of our veterans. The Lubbock group needs more people to sponsor a wreath in order to include as many veterans as possible at the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
“We have counted 937 veterans,” Captain Tammy Preidis said. “This year, we only have 560 wreaths and I’m sure that’s because of COVID and everything else, because we actually had 800 wreaths last year.”
Tammy Preidis is the Lubbock location coordinator for Wreaths Across America. The Civil Air Patrol has led the effort for several years. In those years, because of the lack of documentation, Preidis’ family has worked to record the number of veterans in the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
“My family and I started going out and counting and taking each section at a time of the cemetery, literally just walking the cemetery,” Preidis said. “It’s taken several several years to do this. However, the City of Lubbock has recently helped us and there’s a woman by the name of Sarah Fox, who has a GPS type of program, and she has been helping us. Right now, there’s 36 percent of the City of Lubbock Cemetery has been counted.”
The hope is to have even more than those veterans honored with a wreath, because they know there are more buried there. They also hope to expand the event to other cemeteries.
“It’s important for every veteran to be honored,” Preidis said. “Then, also teaching the next generation. The teaching part is what’s really important to me.”
Cadet First Lieutenant Jonathon Preidis, Tammy’s son, is part of that next generation learning about those who’ve gone before us.
“It’s just very touching when you personally can go up and place a wreath on a fallen veteran’s grave,” Jonathon said. “We try and say their name and we just remember that each individual person who we place a wreath on. It’s just it’s very heartfelt.”
Both individuals and corporations can sponsor a wreath for $15 each. They are tax deductible purchases and advertising is available for sponsorships.
The annual ceremony is scheduled for December 19th at 11 a.m. and will be available online through the Wreaths Across America Lubbock Facebook page.
Call Capt. Preidis at 806-429-2033 or click here to purchase a sponsorship online.