Wreaths for veterans falling short of goal

- Each holiday season, volunteers place thousands of wreaths at the graves of our nation's veterans, from Arlington National Cemetery, to the cemeteries here in the Tampa Bay area. This year, Wreaths Across America, the organization that spearheads the effort, says they are thousands of wreaths short.

So far, Bay Pines National Cemetery only has enough donations for 1,200 of the 33,000 needed to honor veterans there. And the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell is also short.

"We've never had enough wreaths to cover all the graves and I would really like to see that happen, preferably in my lifetime," said Ronalee Klase, who organizes the campaign at Bay Pines and has a brother buried there. "To me, when somebody says, 'can I sponsor a wreath?' It's like, 'Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the the sacrifices that my family members and my friends have over the years by missing Thanksgiving or Christmas.'"

Wreaths Across America places 700,000 wreaths at the grave sites of cemeteries nationwide.

The deadline to donate for the local cemeteries is Monday, Nov. 30. The wreaths cost $15 each.

All the wreaths are laid by volunteers on National Wreaths Across America Day - December 12, 2015, according to the Wreaths Across America website.

For more information on how to donate, head to the Wreaths Across America website to search for a location near you. 

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