Smiley face

‘Welcome Home’ Celebration for Vietnam Vets Being Held Across the US by Wreaths Across America

The 48-foot long WAA Mobile Educational Exhibit is making stops in Texas this Spring

Sulphur Springs, Texas was one of many Texas towns to host a Welcome Home Celebration specifically for returning Vietnam Vets…staged fifty years after their return home. Actually, through 2025, these Welcome Home celebrations will be held in towns across the nation as routes are planned and events scheduled. The Wreaths Across America Mobile Educational Exhibit, or MEE, set up near the downtown Veterans Memorial on Wednesday March 17, 2021. At 10am, a proclamation by Hopkins County Judge and Commissioners was read by Veterans Service officer Danny Davis and a brief ceremony followed.

Director of the Tour Team Stephan Brann with the Hopkins County US Marine Corp League Detachment

Throughout the day, Vietnam-era veterans from all branches of service arrived at the exhibit to receive a personal welcome by Stephan Brann, Director of the Tour Team. and to view the 20-minute video tour inside the mobile exhibit. Afterward, each Vietnam-era vet present received a Vietnam Veterans pin, a cap and copy of the proclamation signed by former President Trump. In some instances, a family member came forward to claim the gifts for their veteran. More than one experienced an emotional moment in response to the true meaning of the ‘Welcome Home’ that was extended.

Dena Loyd local WAA cemetery coordinator since 2018

Dena Loyd organized the first Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony in Hopkins County in December 2018, following guidelines set out by the national non-profit organization. Currently, Hopkins County has five cemeteries which be part of this year’s wreath-laying ceremony on December 18, 2021. Each of the five cemeteries have documented the grave sites of all veterans buried there. And in late Fall, each will be cleaned and readied by volunteers to receive the placement of a beautiful balsam wreath as well as having the veteran’s names read aloud. The Wreaths Across America wreath-laying remembrance goes on all across the United States, and is all-volunteer driven with more than a million wreaths placed in 2020 in more than 2500 cemetery locations. Within the past few years, the WAA organization’s efforts have also reached out to cemeteries in European countries where American soldiers lie buried. According to one family member of a fallen soldier, “We cannot visit his grave but we are comforted to know that every year, someone will remember his service, speak his name aloud and place a wreath of remembrance on his grave marker”.

Find out who is responsible for providing these beautiful fir wreaths, who makes up the ‘honor fleet’ of trucking companies transporting shipments of wreaths to cities across our country, and who organizes the loving placements in hundreds of cemeteries from large towns to small communities across America by going to wreathsacrossamerica.com. And find out how you can join the united volunteer effort locally by contacting Dena Loyd at 903-348-8174 or email [email protected]

Pat Chase may have been the only Coast Guard veteran in attendance!
Hopkins County Veterans Service Officer Danny Davis presents the proclamation to Brann
With Loyd wis Mary Nell Bryant who is cemetery coordinator for Gafford Chapel Cemetery

Author: Enola Gay

Has enjoyed working for KSST since 1989. Hosts the Good Morning Show with Enola Gay on weekday mornings from 6-9am, so 'start your day with Enola Gay'! Guest interviews during the Morning Show can also be seen in playback on Cable Channel 18 TV. Along with local country music fan Benny Potter, co-produces 1230 West, a Country and Western Swing radio show which airs weekly on Saturdays from 7-8am and repeats on Thursdays from 7-8pm. Also writes "At the Corral Gate", a column appearing weekly in The Millennium Shopper and in the Lifestyles section of ksstradio.com.

Share This Post On