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Remember A Veteran ~ Sponsor A Wreath!

Hello All:
The leavs are nearly off the trees.  You are probably thinking of buying your turkey.  AND we are working feverishly to get to 324 wreaths in our fourth year of hosting the WAA Ceremony.  We would love, for the first time, to be able to honor every identified veteran in Oakland Cemetery.  As of today we are 63 wreaths short.  We are close!  If you have made a contribution—THANK YOU! 

If you have not sponored a wreath or two, would you consider it?   Perhaps you could help us through your workplace?  place of worship?  civic organization?   We are so close that it would be a shame to not reach this goal.  All checks must be in the office by Monday, November 22nd.
To update you on the other cemeteries in Iowa City and through the counties:
We have as follows:
Lone Tree:  24
Swisher:  7
Riverside: 30
Memory Gardens:  7
St. Joseph’s:  32

Let’s remember those who fought for our freedom!


We Need Wreath Sponsorships!

Wreath Sponsorship Form 2010

Greetings All:

It is that time of year again!  This will be our Fourth Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony on December 11th at Oakland Cemetery (1000 Brown St.) in Iowa City. 

Our goal this year is to be able to lay wreaths at all 324 veteran’s gravesites.  We have never been able to do this so far.  We are asking each person to donate one more wreath than you have in the past to help us reach this goal.  Above is the link for the form.  All donations must be received by November 19th in order to get our sponsorships sent to main for the wreaths to be shipped on time.

Please call Le Ann Tyson at 319.430.1187 with questions.  We appreciate your support.

Your Locations Leaders~  Mike and Le Ann Tyson

Sometimes We Just Never Know Why

Paul "Bulldog" Ramirez serves as honor guard WAA 2008

Kampha Sourivong

It took me a while to convince myself to write this. We in the military meet a lot of people and unless you are really good at remembering names you just take the faces and conversations with you.

Let me start in the middle somewhere. In 2008 I volunteered myself, some members of the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association, and some of those from the American Legion riders to participate in the Wreaths Across America in Iowa City. I was informed that we would be carrying flags and setting an honor guard around a specific grave. This young man’s parents were going to place his wreath and we wanted to make it as special for them as possible. That young man was Sgt. Kampha Sourivong. When all was over I remembered the name but had never put it together with a face. I would see his parent’s a couple of times after this. I would usually say hello, figuring they didn’t know who I was but I said hello anyway.

After my second WAA in 2009 I received an email from Le Ann Tyson, the coordinator in Iowa City. asking for our stories. I decided that I wanted to look up one of the people whose wreath I had laid. I picked Kampha’s story to research. When I went out on the internet I found an obituary with a photo. The first thought that went through my mind was “That guy looks familiar”. I then found another article that described him in more detail and what unit he was with. I realized that I knew him from Al Asad, Iraq. I was stationed there to do convoy support with a different unit. Once we realized there were some Iowa boys in town we started hanging out and talking to them. This was where I met Kampha. I am not good with names so along with the other one hundred people I met his name was stored away. The instant I realized who I was looking at I could remember him.

This experience has been a little difficult but I am writing this so that all of you who participate realize how important it is to research a name each year. You may be surprised at how close you come to someone else’s life.

For those of you who have never participated, this could be one of the most rewarding events you ever join.

As a veteran, I can tell you that your efforts do not go unnoticed.
I am part of the Iowa Military Honors program.
Iraq 2006
We do military funerals for our passed brothers and sisters. I know how important it is for the families to see that their husband/wife, father/mother, daughter or son has not been forgotten. To those who have helped, I thank you. For those who haven’t I will say please consider helping. I promise you will take more with than you leave as you place a wreath to remember an Iowa hero.

University Of Iowa ROTC Joins Wreaths Across America

As the local Army ROTC program (University of Iowa) we felt this program was a very worthwhile experience for our young Cadets. It is a great opportunity for each of the participating cadets to publicly recognize the service and sacrifice of our local veterans and their families. As current university students and future Army Officers, this experience reinforces that service to both nation and community is honorable. Overall, a great experience for our cadets.

LTC Deyak

Professor of Military Science

University of Iowa