Wreaths Across America: Walmart Transportation honors veterans with nationwide wreath placement project

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Robert Holton and Bobby Poston (right) from Walmart Transportation in Midway, Tennessee pass wreaths to Cullman drivers Trace Young and George Hurt (left) for the next leg of the journey.  All are military veterans. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – On Wednesday, Walmart Transportation drivers from the company’s distribution center in Midway, Tennessee arrived at Cullman’s Walmart Distribution Center to hand off to new drivers two trailers full of wreaths that will be placed on veterans’ graves during the Christmas holiday season. Partnering with the organization Wreaths Across America (WAA), Walmart will help place approximately 1.8 million wreaths on veterans’ graves at more than 1,600 cemeteries across the country this Saturday, Dec. 14, National Wreaths Across America Day.

The wreaths started out Dec. 8 at WAA headquarters in Maine, and are being transported all over the country. Walmart Transportation has relay teams that are carrying 16 trailers that will deliver wreaths to locations in 12 states.

Walmart Cullman General Transportation Manager Eugene Reynolds told The Tribune, “We’re here to honor our veterans, of course, after fighting for our country. Veterans that passed and went on, we want to not forget the ones that died for this country. That’s what made America great, and that’s what we’ve done, so far, to make this country keep going.

“We don’t need to forget the ones that took care of us, as in decades past, there used to be graves that would not get decorated. So, they came up with the idea of decorating all the military graves, and Walmart wanted to be a part of that. We just want to participate. We’re always involved in the community. Walmart has always been a great company to be a part of the community and involved in supporting that.”

In a ceremony at the transportation garage Wednesday, drivers Robert Holton and Bobby Poston from Walmart Transportation in Midway, Tennessee symbolically passed wreaths to Cullman drivers Trace Young and George Hurt for the next leg of the journey. All of the drivers are military veterans.

Hurt, a 12-year Army and National Guard veteran, will be one of the relay drivers to take the wreaths on from here.

He told The Tribune, “They asked me would I like to do it, and I said, ‘Sure.’ I think it’s an honor to be able to do something like that. That I do.”

U.S. Marine Corporal Brady Dean addressed the audience during the ceremony and said, “‘Everyone plays their part:’ we deal with this quote from military life to the civilian life. Without everyone doing their part, the world would not run. If no one did their part, our country would not be free, nor would we have the democracy that we have today. The civilian world and military world count on each other like a symbiotic circle. One could not function without the other. That is why we are here today, to honor the brave men and women who gave their lives to the branches of service that they were in, for the cause of liberty in our great nation.”

Learn more at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com