Years ago, we started the Wreaths For Vets foundation in an effort to honor all veterans who serve our country. The foundation operates solely on donations, so we would be ecstatic if you could donate to the cause. Looking to sell your Central Texas area home? Get a free home value report Looking to buy a Central Texas area home? Click here to browse Central Texas Homes for sale This is a very special season for us at the Shine Team; back in 2006, our community opened up our very first veteran state cemetery here outside the Killeen area—the Central Texas Veterans State Cemetery. Though it took a long time, we were so excited to complete the project. The very first Christmas after we’d finished, the national organization Wreaths Across America announced they were coming here to lay wreaths for our veteran cemetery. I was so excited to hear it that I rearranged my schedule so I could be there. It was a lovely ceremony with lots of speeches and pomp and circumstance, but they only brought six wreaths. I looked out on the field and saw many graves without decorations. At that moment, I thought to myself, “This cannot be.” This was December 15, and by that time, there were no more wreaths to be bought; they’d all been purchased for people’s homes or sent off to Iraq and Afghanistan to the troops overseas. However, I ran down to Austin and found a warehouse that still had them. After countless phone calls and research, I acquired almost 400 of them. The next year, I called again and found out they had almost 900. I couldn’t personally afford that many, which was why I started a tax-deductible foundation called Wreaths For Vets. It’s a wonderful way for our community to participate in the effort to lay wreaths on every gravesite ever, forever.Wreaths For Vets is a wonderful way for our community to participate in the effort to lay wreaths on every gravesite ever, forever.There are around 8,300 military service members and their families buried at the cemetery, and we’ll be continuing that tradition this year, as well. We’ll be preparing the wreaths on Saturday, November 17, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The weekend after Thanksgiving (November 24), we’ll go out and lay wreaths on every grave. It’ll take a lot of volunteers, so we need your help. Wreaths For Vets is 100% comprised of volunteers, and all proceeds are garnered through donations—there are no paid staff members in the organization. If you’re a supporter of the military and want to help us honor and remember our fallen heroes, we encourage you to make a donation, which you can do on our website, www.WreathsForVets.org, or by sending your donation marked “Wreaths For Vets” to the Shine Team at 100 East Central Texas Expressway, Suite 302, Harker Heights, TX, 76548. That money will be used to buy all the materials needed for the wreath-laying. One of the ways the Shine Team Realtors have chosen to participate in the program is we’ve started making donations for anyone who buys or sells a home with us. I’m proud to say that as of this month, we’ve had 400 buyers and sellers work with us, and we’ve made a donation in each of their honors. Also, every year, friends of the Central Texas Veterans State Cemetery design a new T-shirt for the cause, and this year’s is fabulous. You can purchase one of your own on Saturday, November 17 during the wreath preparation, and we’d be happy to put one on hold for you if you can’t make it out this year. Thank you for your continued support of the Shine Team, members of our armed forces, and our veterans all over the world. If you have any questions for us, you’re always encouraged to reach out to us. We’d be happy to hear from you.