331st MTI participates in national tradition

More than 15,000 individuals, including Staff Sgt. Jason Hannen, 331st Training Squadron military training instructor, laid 40,000 wreaths December 15 in honor of Texas’ Veterans buried in Houston’s National Cemetery. The annual tradition dedicated to honoring and thanking our veterans for their service and sacrifice started in Arlington National Cemetery in 1992 and is now performed around the country. “Originally we wanted to honor our country’s veterans with a gesture we felt would be a small symbol of appreciation.” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, who started the tradition bore than 15 years ago. “We chose Arlington National Cemetery because it was in the nation’s capital and when visitors came to their loved ones gravesite at the holidays, they would see they were not forgotten. We never dreamed our small gesture would become a national tradition,” “I’ve participated every year since I was a kid,” said Hannen. “It’s a way to pay respect to people who came before us.” In the end, according to the event’s coordinators, there were more than 16,000 people in Houston alone who came to witness the ceremony which consisted of bagpipers, a WWII flyover, a rifle salute, a coast guard flyover, taps, and the presentation of the wreaths. “Knowing where we came from makes people appreciate what we do,” said Hannen. “It sets a positive example for the entire community.” (U.S. Air Force

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