You can help honor a deceased veteran

By Rick Carpenter -

A group of airmen at Altus Air Force Base is organizing a local effort to remember veterans by placing wreaths on their gravesites next week as part of a national campaign, and you can join the effort.

The Air Force Sergeants’ Association at AAFB will sponsor the local effort of Wreaths Across America on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Altus Cemetery, 2400 Falcon Road, near a veterans section of the cemetery. The organization has ordered more than 1,400 wreaths from the national organization which coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies each December at Arlington National Cemetery as well as 1,200 locations across the United States. The organization has raised more than $14,000 to pay $10 for each wreath through the organization.

Staff Sgt. William Harrison Jr., who coordinates the local event along with Senior Master Sgt. Michael Lormand, said the event begins at 9 a.m. with the placing of ceremonial wreaths for each branch of services as well as the merchant marines and POW MIA. Chief Master Sgt. Paul Pohnert, commander of the Altus Disabled American Veterans, will be one of the featured speakers.

Harrison said graves in the cemetery have been identified by distinctive markers or from previous information provided to the organization. About two dozen volunteers place wreaths at each gravesite. Harrison encourages local residents with family or friends of veterans to volunteer to take the wreaths to specific gravesites.

It takes the volunteers about two hours to place all of the wreaths.

If you’d like to volunteer or donate money you may just show up at the event or send an email to Harrison at

By Rick Carpenter

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