Vietnam War veteran and Breitbart News Daily listener Thomas Reece, who serves as Vice President of Council Tool Operations in North Carolina, challenged American manufacturing businesses to contribute to Wreaths Across America, in order to help them lay a wreath on every grave in Arlington National Cemetery.
“The challenge is to all manufacturing businesses to contribute $100 to Wreaths Across America to show our support for veterans’ causes,” Reece told Breitbart News.
“When I heard it today on Breitbart coming into work, it struck a chord,” said Reece. “Those buried in national cemeteries deserve our respect. We can show that by placing wreaths on the graves — I think it’s very important.”
“We as manufacturing folks are from a fairly conservative group, and I think it’s important from the manufacturers who have benefited from veterans from military contracts, government contracts, get together and make this happen,” he added.
Reece is part of three generations of Marines — his father served and his son is currently in the USMC — and served in the Vietnam War as a first lieutenant from 1969 to 1970.
A $100 donation would cover at least six wreaths, according to the non-profit’s donation page. Each wreath costs $15. Donors can also indicate whether the wreath is a sponsor or given in memory of a loved one. They may also send an e-card to the families.
Executive director Karen Worcester appeared on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily to appeal for more donations — the group receives no government assistance and relies on volunteers to place wreaths on the nearly 230,000 in Arlington. Many audience members, including Reece, called in after Worcester’s interview to urge Americans to pitch in and help the non-profit reach its goal.
“Unfortunately Arlington is always our hardest to find the donations to cover,” she said, adding most Americans donate to lay wreaths on local graces. “They haven’t been embraced by the community of Arlington, so they are kind of like the forgotten. There are people buried at Arlington from every state in the country.”
“Every one of these wreathes that is place is a gift from somebody who wants to remember the fallen and honor those who served,” Worcester said. Her appearance on the show generated so much interest in their cause, Wreaths Across America went offline for a short time as a massive traffic spike hit their site in seconds. The site quickly went back online to accept more donations.
This Christmas season, Wreaths Across America is 18,000 short due to a funding shortfall. In order to honor every grave, the group must raise $270,000 by December 9. National Wreaths Across America Day falls on December 12, the second Saturday of the month.