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Veterans across area remembered during holidays with gravestone wreaths

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A partnership between Crowley Maritime Corporation and Wreaths Across America is remembering our nation's heroes through the holidays with a token of appreciation -- one wreath at a time.

At least 13,000 wreaths will be placed on the gravestones of veterans in Puerto Rico, Jacksonville, and other areas throughout the county.

The wreaths were shipped out Friday with one theme in mind: remembrance.

"It's like, 'You're not forgotten,'" said Victor Gonzales, a local veteran.

Crowley gave nearly $50,000 to make the effort happen, which allowed eight times the amount of wreaths to be sent to Puerto Rico than the previous year.

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The organization said veterans have a special role in the company.

"Crowley is an organization that has almost 10% of our work force are veterans, so not only is it important to us as a company, it's also important for us individually to participate, which is how we've gotten such a high bounce on the contributions this year," said Parker Harrison, Crowley Maritime Corp. representative.

Containers of the wreaths were loaded onto a ship Friday, and the wreaths will arrive to their destinations in the next few days.

"I know for people here in Jacksonville, you can probably drive to the national cemetery, but there are folks that can’t for whatever reason. And the fact that someone thought about their loved ones and had the touch to put a wreath, it means a lot,” Gonzales said. “I hope that my family would see that as a thank you and as a gesture when it’s my time to lay in peace.”


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