Idaho Volunteers Honor Veterans' Graves With Wreaths

Dec 14, 2012

More than 2,000 wreaths will be placed on the graves of Idaho veterans Friday.  The decorations are part of the annual Wreaths Across America project. 

About 30 volunteers with the Idaho Civil Air Patrol recently gathered at an airport hangar in Nampa to make sure that every grave would have a wreath this year. One of those volunteers was Rhonda Rook. 

When asked about her process for securing fresh evergreen boughs in an old metal wreath frame, Rook laughed.

“Oh, just laying everything in the frame and trying not to get an ow-ey from it!” Rook said.

Rook joined other volunteers from military organizations to build 900 wreaths in one day. Those wreaths join the other 1,000 purchased by the Idaho Civil Air Patrol.

Rook’s military roots travel back to a colonial conflict in the late 1600s.

“My husband served in two wars, and my ancestors served in every war since the King Phillips War," said Rook. "So yes, veterans are very important to me.”

This is the first year every veteran’s grave will have a wreath. Usually, the organization can’t raise enough funds. So this year, they decided to use old wreath frames and fresh evergreen boughs from North Idaho to supplement the ones they bought. 

At a nearby table, Trinity Smith took quick sips of hot chocolate while she built a wreath.  She has no problem giving up her Saturday to the cause.

“Well, one it’s helping the community and two it’s a lot of fun.”

Smith’s favorite part of the process was placing big red bows on the final product.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio