Volunteers decorate nearly 4,500 Fort Bliss gravesites with holiday wreaths

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 12:41am

More than 500 volunteers helped decorate the gravesites of fallen military members buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery with holiday wreaths.

It was part of the Wreaths Across America program which started at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Torres with the Civil Air Patrol said her organization was called in to help after the program expanded nationwide.

"In 2005, someone took a picture of the wreaths on a gravestone at Arlington and circulated it on the internet and it started from there," said Torres.

Frank Ortiz was one of the volunteers, and also has family members buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

"It's only the right thing to do to come out here and place wreaths in celebration of the holidays with all of our fallen soldiers," said Ortiz.

Wreaths Across America placed 4,445 wreaths at Fort Bliss National Cemetery Saturday, but Torres said there are about 50,000 gravesites. She hopes the program can continue to grow so that all of the gravesites can eventually be decorated with a wreath.

For more information about making a donation, or to request a wreath on a relative's gravesite, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.com.


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