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Wreaths Across America Event Held in Wilmington, NC

Cemetery photo of wreaths
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The Wilmington National Cemetery the day after the Wreaths Across America ceremony. Photo Credit: Lt Col Jerry West, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Cape Fear and Brunswick County Composite Squadrons help at Wilmington National Cemetery

12/21/2017––On 16 December 2017, hundreds of people gathered at the Wilmington National Cemetery to honor the 5,172 veterans who rest there. Led by Lt Col Jerry West, 21 organizations got over 5,600 wreaths sponsored for the location. Included in those organizations were the Cape Fear Composite Squadron and the Brunswick County Composite Squadron - who combined for over 600 wreath sponsorships. 

In addition to the wreath sponsorships, cadets and senior members from both squadrons attended the ceremony and assisted with setting up for the ceremony and distributing wreaths throughout the cemetery. Once the Wilmington National Cemetery was completely covered, Lt Col West took over 130 wreaths to the nearby Greenlawn Cemetery and placed them on the veteran graves there. Approximately 280 wreaths were also sent to Arlington National Cemetery.
Participants in the Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony included C/MSgt Garrett Geschickter and C/CMSgt Maddie Blake, who were part of the detail of service flags. CAP Maj Jeff Walker donned his U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) uniform and represented the USMC by placing their service wreath and Lt Col John Kay represented the U.S. Merchant Marines by placing their service wreath. 1st Lt Dee Dee Willetts spearheaded the crew of cadets and senior members that set up the wreaths for distribution. 1st Lt Mark Shell participated as the official CAP photographer of the ceremony. Overall, the Civil Air Patrol was instrumental in ensuring the success of the day.
Numerous other organizations participated in the WAA event, as well as cadets from other organizations. U.S. Air Force JROTC Cadets from Laney High School in Wilmington as well as cadets from the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy in Elizabethtown were also instrumental in the day's success.