COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – One visible way folks across the country show their thanks to deceased military loved ones is by placing wreaths on their graves during the holidays.

The nonprofit organization carries out its mission to remember, honor and teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 3,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

Local organizers are battling a drastic shortage of sponsored wreaths for the graves at the Fort Benning Main Post Cemetery. They say the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the main reasons for the shortage this year. 

So far, they have had just over 1,000 wreaths sponsored. Their goal is 9,000.

“When you really realize that almost all of the service members served in Columbus at one time or another in Fort Benning, you’d think that we could make it an easy project to get every headstone covered, said Col. Mayo A. Hadden III, President of the Fort Benning Military Officers Association of America Chapter. “Every one of these individuals have served their country, they’ve sacrificed for it. And all we want to do is make sure they’re honored.”

The Fort Benning Main Post Cemetery is one of the largest Army Post cemeteries. The 8.38 acre cemetery is the final resting place of over 10,000 of our nation’s heroes including three Medal of Honor recipients and soldiers from World War II.

              If you would like to help, wreaths can be purchased for Ft Benning Heroes at $15 dollars a piece plus tax on their website. The last day to sponsor a wreath is Nov. 27.