Thousands of wreaths are being placed this holiday season to remember veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
It’s happening all over the U.S. this month, including right here in the Valley, as a part of Wreaths Across America's tradition.
This holiday season, the organization is giving the gift of remembrance. One wreath at a time, the gesture means so much to the families of these fallen heroes.
“We are here to honor our son, LCPL Ryan Dunkin. He was in the Marine Corps,” said Cheryl Marston.
Cheryl and Bryan Marston lost their son back in 2011. He passed away while serving active duty in the Marine Corps, said Cheryl.
“There’s something to be said for carrying the grief. Amongst many soldiers, there’s a lot of loss, and the weight of that loss sometimes can be unbearable,” said Bryan Marston.
On Saturday, dozens of volunteers showed up to Valley of the Sun Cemetery to honor and lay wreaths for veterans.
Volunteers are encouraged to call out the person’s name to keep their memory alive.
Wreaths Across America placed wreaths on 1,500 veteran graves in Chandler and although the pain of losing their son will never go away, the Marstons said this outpouring of support helps.
“When you see these other people out here helping you shoulder that load, then it’s pretty amazing,” said Bryan Marston.
Organizers say the event continues to grow and that’s all thanks to the volunteers you see out here.