Local Organization Prepares Wreaths to Honor Veterans

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Joy Parker is a military wife with a unique story.

"I've been widowed twice. All three of my husbands were military, all different branches," she says.

Even though life has been tough, she's been able to manage and use her life experiences to help others.

She's the co-founder of "Wreaths for Veterans." This local organization gathers volunteers to make wreaths for local veterans and place it on their graves.

"They're called remembrance wreaths.  We put them out just before Thanksgiving so the family and the loved ones can see that somebody is caring about their loved ones," she said.

The idea started when Joy received an email from her friend Jennifer Hames, a military wife.

"The picture had green wreaths with red bows in the snow at Arlington. I saw that picture and I was like 'Man! is that great.'  And so I sent the picture to Joy Parker and I said wouldn't it be neat if we can do this in Huntsville?" said Hames, founder of Wreaths for Veterans.

"Why can't we? Let's not talk about it. We have to be about it," Parker responded.

In 2007, the organization made 500 wreaths. They're now making 3,500 wreaths a year. The goal is to place one wreath on every veterans' grave here in town.

The organization will be preparing placing wreaths on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Valhalla Cemetery and on Thursday , Nov. 21 at Maple Hill Cemetery.

If you are interested in helping out, contact Joy Parker at joyaparker@comcast.net or (256) 881-5487.