Wreaths Across America is a holiday wreath-laying ceremony at cemeteries to honor our veterans. The Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcyclist group, has visited hundreds of graves throughout Missouri in the past couple weeks.
L.T. and Rita Dobkins from Steelville were part of a group that laid wreaths on 726 graves at the Old Soldiers’ Home in St. James. L.T. says their purpose is a simple one, which is to make sure our veterans are honored, remembered and taken care of.
He says the gesture gets mixed reactions from families, but, a veteran himself, he understands losing a loved one is hard for the survivors of those killed in action.
The Patriot Guard Riders don’t just honor those who have died… they’re getting ready to visit veterans still living in their homes as well as those in nursing homes, delivering socks, underwear, t-shirts, caps and other personal items. He says they hold fundraisers all year long to sponsor those trips.
He says we’re losing our World War Two and Korean War veterans, but there are more coming in all the time who deserve to be honored and remembered. The program is run solely on donations — the riders donate all of their time and expenses to the cause.