NEWS | Dec. 28, 2016

310th ESC Soldier partners with Wreaths Across America to honor the Fallen

By Capt. Sean Delpech 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Bobby L. Scott, from the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and a small group of volunteers, braved an ice storm and frigid temperatures to honor fallen service members, Dec. 17.

Scott partnered with Wreaths Across America (WAA), community members, service members and Veteran Service Organizations to honor the fallen with over 600 wreaths at the Crown Hill National Cemetery here.

“This national event shows a lot of respect for our fallen Veterans, and those who have passed away after serving our Nation," said Scott, "and a lot of people give up their time, battling the elements this time of year, to be a part of the Wreaths Across America ceremony."

While all of the armed services are represented during the WAA ceremony, Scott was asked to lay the ceremonial wreath for the Army. “The cold was brutal out there, but I thought it was a great thing to be involved with respecting our Veterans this holiday season,” said Scott.

“I think taking some time out of your busy schedule to remember the ones who have lost their lives or served our country can help to bring a spotlight on issues facing Veterans and service members today,” said Scott.

Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and thanking Veterans for their service and sacrifice with the annual wreath laying ceremony provided the wreaths for the ceremony.

“There are Veterans who have deployed multiple times, to Iraq and Afghanistan, who come back struggling with health and mental health issues like PTSD; some are afflicted to the point they commit suicide,” said Scott.

“It is important to bring awareness and make sure that these heroes have representation, and I think we need to see more of that in our country,” continued Scott.

The mission of Wreaths Across America is to “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” The wreath laying ceremony began at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992, and is now an annual event performed around the country.

“In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year,” according to WAA’s website.

All national cemeteries receive wreaths, one for each military service branch, one for the Merchant Marines and one for prisoners of war and those missing in action.  WAA met its goal of covering every grave in Arlington National Ceremony in 2014 resulting in the placement of 226,525 wreaths.

Crown Hill National Cemetery has a large section that is dedicated to the graves of fallen service members, and has interred the remains of both Union and Confederate soldiers from the Civil War beginning in 1866. Crown Hill National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs Website.