Gray Elementary School student Cooper Sanders, 10, kneels at a grave he had just decorated during Wreaths Across America placement ceremony at Mountain Home National Cemetery Saturday, Dec. 19.

Wreaths Across America is inviting volunteers to assist with wreath pickup at Mountain Home National Cemetery beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 16.

David Carter, a coordinator for the annual wreath placements at Mountain Home, said, although 2020 was a difficult year in many respects, Wreaths Across America was able to provide a wreath for all of the upright markers on the historic side of the national cemetery at Mountain Home as well as a large portion of graves sites in the new cemetery annex.

“Thank you to everyone who sponsored wreaths and helped with the wreath placement. Without your support, we would not be able to remember and honor our fallen veterans,” Carter said.

Carter said those who have been involved with Wreaths Across America for several years a large amount of “grunt work” is required to make the project successful.

Prior to the wreath placements, volunteers unload and store boxes of wreaths that are later staged around the cemetery in preparation for the wreath placement ceremony. And as volunteers go through the cemetery placing wreaths, volunteers must flatten the boxes and place them in a dumpster.

The project concludes in mid-January with a cleanup day in which volunteers go through the cemetery once more to remove the wreaths from the grave sites and place them at the curb for pickup and disposal.

And as the current holiday season ends, Carter said, work on next year’s wreath placement begins anew. A $15 sponsorship donation will provide a wreath at the headstone of one veteran at Mountain Home. Donations can be made online at wreathsacrossamerica.org/tn0243, or order forms can be printed from the website and mailed to Location Coordinator David Carter, 220 Hidden Acres Road, Kingsport, TN, 37664.