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Wreaths Across America honors departed

Lt. Col. William Fellows from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., lays a wreath during Wreaths Across America Dec. 12 at Fort Logan National Cemetary in Littleton, Colo. The Wreaths Across America program is run by the Civil Air Patrol. CAP members and volunteers from local military installations lay wreaths on graves in veterans' cemetaries nationwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Lt. Col. William Fellows from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., lays a wreath during Wreaths Across America Dec. 12 at Fort Logan National Cemetary in Littleton, Colo. The Wreaths Across America program is run by the Civil Air Patrol. CAP members and volunteers from local military installations lay wreaths on graves in veterans' cemetaries nationwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Wreaths adorn the graves of veterans during Wreaths Across America at Fort Logan National Cemetary in Littleton, Colo. Dec. 12. Eighty-seven volunteers from Buckley Air Force Base joined Civil Air Patrol members and volunteers from Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases and the Denver Metropolitan Area for a day of honoring departed veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Wreaths adorn the graves of veterans during Wreaths Across America at Fort Logan National Cemetary in Littleton, Colo. Dec. 12. Eighty-seven volunteers from Buckley Air Force Base joined Civil Air Patrol members and volunteers from Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases and the Denver Metropolitan Area for a day of honoring departed veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Baptist from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., lays a wreath on a veteran's grave during Wreaths Across America. Volunteers laid more than 400 wreaths during the Dec. 12 event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Baptist from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., lays a wreath on a veteran's grave during Wreaths Across America. Volunteers laid more than 400 wreaths during the Dec. 12 event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

The Navy Operational Support Center Honor Guard from Buckley Air Force Base fires a salute during the veterans' ceremony at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. Airmen, Sailors and Marines from Buckley joined together to honor veterans from all services at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

The Navy Operational Support Center Honor Guard from Buckley Air Force Base fires a salute during the veterans' ceremony at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. Airmen, Sailors and Marines from Buckley joined together to honor veterans from all services at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Tech. Sgt. David Plemen, 566th Intelligence Squadron, salutes after laying a wreath during Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Tech. Sgt. David Plemen, 566th Intelligence Squadron, salutes after laying a wreath during Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

A Civil Air Patrol color guard presents arms during the national anthem at Wreaths Across America. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven clark)

A Civil Air Patrol color guard presents arms during the national anthem at Wreaths Across America. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven clark)

A bagpiper from the Scottish American Military Society plays for the fallen during the ceremony Dec. 12. SAMS members braved the 35-degree temperatures in traditional Scottish garb, including kilt, to honor veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

A bagpiper from the Scottish American Military Society plays for the fallen during the ceremony Dec. 12. SAMS members braved the 35-degree temperatures in traditional Scottish garb, including kilt, to honor veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Petty Officer First Class Manuel Coronado, Navy Information Operations Command Colorado, salutes after placing a wreath on a veteran's grave Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Petty Officer First Class Manuel Coronado, Navy Information Operations Command Colorado, salutes after placing a wreath on a veteran's grave Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Veterans of Foreign Wars members salute during the national anthem at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Veterans of Foreign Wars members salute during the national anthem at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

Members of the Aerospace Data Facility Colorado Joint Color Guard from Buckley Air Force Base pause in reverance during the veterans' salute at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)
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Members of the Aerospace Data Facility Colorado Joint Color Guard from Buckley Air Force Base pause in reverance during the veterans' salute at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steven Clark)

1st Lt. Brandon Goebel places a wreath on the grave of Navy Seaman Apprentice Henry L. Long. Seaman Long's family requested Lieutenant Goebel visit the grave during Wreaths Across America and place a wreath. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy O'Connor)
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1st Lt. Brandon Goebel places a wreath on the grave of Navy Seaman Apprentice Henry L. Long. Seaman Long's family requested Lieutenant Goebel visit the grave during Wreaths Across America and place a wreath. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy O'Connor)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Eighty-seven Airmen, Sailors and Marines from Buckley Air Force Base joined the Civil Air Patrol, Airmen from Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases, and civilians from the Denver Metropolitan Area in honoring veterans at Wreaths Across America Dec. 12 at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Littleton.

Wreaths Across America, run by the Civil Air Patrol, is an event designed to honor departed veterans nationwide during a single day in December. Groups of CAP members and volunteers from local military bases and communities lay wreaths on the graves at veterans cemeteries across America.

"The Wreaths Across America event is a way to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in serving our great nation," said Chief Master Sgt. Arleen Heath, 460th Space Wing command chief master sergeant.

Participants in the ceremony were encouraged to look up the names of veterans upon whose graves they lay wreaths, to find out more about America's military heritage while honoring the departed.

Some participants, however, were already familiar with the graves on which they lay wreaths. 1st Lt. Brandon Goebel lay a wreath on the grave of his girlfriend's father, Navy Seaman Apprentice Henry L. Long, at the request of Seaman Long's family.

"Laying a wreath is such a small gesture when you look at how much these veterans have done for us. It was my way of saying 'thank you,' not just for raising a wonderful daughter but for protecting the world that we grew up in," Lieutenant Goebel said.

"The men and women like him who served before us all paved the way for the generation that serves today. They passed that torch onto us and, as we all march forward in our duties, we need to remember to look back and thank them for their sacrifices."
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