Wreaths to honor fallen heroes

By: Evan Johnson - email

HINESVILLE (WTOC) - The slight showers couldn't keep family and friends away from Fort Stewart. The men and women made their way to Cottrell Field for the 4th Annual Wreaths for Warriors Walk to remember those they lost in combat.

"In 2005, we had a little boy in our kindergarten class who lost his dad. That was the first time I was personally impacted by the war," said teacher Janny Vanhouten.

"It was March 24, 2003. It's still very emotional. I'm grateful for what he's done and all of the rest of the soldiers. When we first came there were only a few trees. Now as you look around there's over 400 that planted," said Leanne Womack, who's remember her nephew Army Specialist Gregory Sanders.

Exactly 436 trees are planted in Cottrell Field. More than 100 families were present to place a wreath at the foot of the tree planted in honor of their loved one - a soldier who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation New Dawn.

"I'm grateful to their families who raised them, loved them, and made them who they are. I'm grateful also to live in a nation that produced them and continues to produce americans just like them," said Major General Tony Cucolo of the 3rd Infantry Division.

After honoring their loved one with a wreath, family and friends left wondering how they can make the most of the gift their soldier gave to them - their life.

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