American Legion Post 515 Celebrate Wreaths Across America Month
Wreaths Across America (WAA) is observed the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in December annually across the United States and 24 foreign countries. This year it will be observed December 16, 2017 at National Cemeteries and at the Douglas Cemetery for Veterans of Coffee County. The National Goal is to place a wreath on every Veteran’s grave in our National Cemeteries. The Goal of American Legion Post 515 is to place a flag and wreath on every Veteran’s grave of Coffee County. The MISSION is to REMEMBER the Veterans who fought and in some cases died for the FREEDOMS we have today – HONOR those Veterans currently serving to preserve the freedom we have and their families – TEACH the young about the freedoms we have and sacrifices made for those freedoms. Additionally, this is an annual event for Veterans of Coffee County and I’m proud to say we reached our Goal each year.
The Flag and Wreath Goal for 2017 started out at 56 cemeteries and 2, 371 Veterans; however, we ended the year with 65 cemeteries and 2, 436 known Veterans. We thank those who gave so generously and continue to give to this cause. We ask for their support and others in the future as we do our very best to REMEMER – HONOR - TEACH, stated Post 515 Commander and WAA Coordinator for Coffee County, Jerome Loving.
We are a No-profit 501- C organization; therefore, to be sure every deceased Veteran of Coffee County gets a flag and wreath, someone must sponsor them or money must be raised somehow. To make Wreaths Across America a reality for Veterans of Coffee County, we desperately need the support and assistance from family members and friends of deceased Veterans, churches, banks, businesses, volunteers and other organizations, etc. We need wreath sponsors, donations, assistance with fundraising and placing out and retrieving flags and wreaths, etc. Wreaths cost $15.00 and all donations are tax deductible, so please sponsor at least one Veteran’s wreath, if not an entire cemetery. To assist with wreath count and donation accountability, sponsors of Wreaths for Coffee County are asked to make all donations payable to and mail to Commander, American Legion Post 515, Inc., P.O. Box 2094, Douglas, GA 31534, they mail a consolidated check to WAA National.
We plan to places flags on known deceased Veterans Graves by December 7th each year (“Pearl Harbor Day”). However, some Cemetery Coordinators with assistance from children during Sunday school and other groups will place FLAGS early in the week, stated Mr. Loving. The CCA LEO CLUB with volunteers will place FLAGS on known Veterans Graves at the Satilla Memorial Cemetery on Highway 441 South at 8:30 AM Thursday, December 7th this year. The Coffee Middle School Student Council, families, friends and volunteers from the community will place FLAGS on known deceased Veterans Graves at the Douglas City Cemetery at 9:00 AM Thursday, December 7th.
Wreaths will be placed on known Veterans graves upon arrival from WAA National, normally a day or two before the scheduled ceremony date. Mr. Loving will post on face book and text individuals that have given him their phone number, once he is contacted about Wreaths arrival time and date. All WREATHS will be delivered to the Douglas City Cemetery. Cemetery Coordinators will pick them up from there and place them on Veterans Graves they are responsible for. Based on 2016’s FLAG and WREATH distribution, this will be very successful and rewarding event. If a Veteran does not have a Military Marker, it is imperative for a family member to assist and identify the grave. A Military Marker may be obtained by goggling VA Form 40-1330, instructions and application is there. The WAA Ceremony for Coffee County will be conducted at the Douglas City Cemetery Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 12:00 NOON sharp. Please attend, bring the kids and grandkids and arrive on time. Refreshments will be provided.
The following are cities with cemeteries chosen for this year. It will be helpful and appreciated if family members of Veterans buried in each cemetery and / or cemetery managers contact Jerome Loving @ 912-592-6413 to assist with this project.
DOUGLAS: Douglas City; Upton Cemetery; Salem Church Cemetery; Bethel Church Cemetery; Satilla Memorial Gardens; Oak Grove /Cross Roads; Paulk; St. James – Paul); Carver Baptist Church; St. Andrews Episcopal; Hebron Church; Vickers Rural; Franklin Holiness Baptist Church; Harmony Grove. BROXTON: Broxton City; Reedy Branch; Providence; Lone Hill Methodist Church; New Corinth; Oak Grove; Benjamin Chapel. PRIDGEN: Pridgen Baptist. AMBROSE: New Hope Baptist Church; Bethany; Deberry Baptist; New Salem; Harper; Mt. Union; Griffin; St. Illa; Sunny Side Holiness; Elem Harper; Vickers Chapel. NICHOLLS: Nicholls City; Meeks; Hall; Moore – Lee (15); Roberts; Chatterton Church; Saginaw; Little Lake Geneva. WEST GREEN: Burkett; Sand Hill; Central Baptist; Calvary Holiness; Oak Grove (1); Oak Grove (2). SATILLA: Wayfare; Harrell Grove Church; Tanner; Old Jowers Chapel. JACKSONVILLE, GA: Jacksonville City; Clark; Wilcox; Rock Hill; Graham #1; Wesley Chapel; Graham #2. LAX: Union Primitive Baptist. LUMBER CITY: Shelton Chapel. PEARSON: Sweetwater. MORA: Mora Baptist. WRAY: Wray holiness. McRAE: McRae City. ALMA: Wolf Pitt.
The ultimate goal of American Legion Post 515 is for Wreaths Across America to become and remain an annual event for Veterans of Coffee County. To be successful, it will take a total effort from citizens of Coffee County, especially family members and friends of deceased Veterans. We thank everyone for their sponsorship, donations and assistance in the past and look forward to many successful years. Keep your eyes and ears open; check face book and your mail box for Postcards, which will provide updates on WAA 2017 and announce the beginning of WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA 2018, stated Coffee County’s WAA Coordinator Jerome Loving. For information regarding WAA and to assist in Coffee County, contact Mr. Loving @ 912-592-6413.