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Wreaths Across America: Honor the Fallen This Holiday

Wreaths Across America: Honor the Fallen This Holiday

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Guest Post by Wes O’Donnell
Managing Editor of In MilitaryInCyberDefense and In Space News.

Note: This article was originally published on In Military.

On Saturday, December 14, 2019, volunteers from all over the United States will participate in one of the year’s most sincere and heartfelt traditions to honor the fallen during the holiday season.

National Wreaths Across America Day, held on the second Saturday of every December, is a special event that “strives to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.”

At past events, it has been incredibly heartwarming seeing the overflowing spirit of the volunteers from every corner of the country and the multitude of Honor Fleets. The Honor Fleets are comprised of truck drivers who transport thousands of boxes of wreaths to the nation’s national cemeteries.

For several years, American Military University has been a proud participant in the event, drawing hundreds of volunteers. This year, AMU is proud to highlight MSR Transport Services and its President and AMU alumnus, Robert Ahlers.

WAA truck
Image courtesy Doug and Robyn Hyde

Robert is a proud graduate from AMU having earned both his M.A. in Homeland Security and a Graduate Certificate in Logistics Management.

As a business owner, Robert is proud to employ veterans. According to Robert, “Today, we have a fleet of 22 trucks and those are a mixture of MSR owned assets and owner-operators. 37% of our drivers are Veterans, and 36% of our drivers are female – both well above the statistical norm for the industry.”

Furthermore, Robert and MSR Transport will be donating no less than 15 deliveries to Wreaths Across America with stops to cemeteries in Maine, Vermont, and New York.

According to Wreaths Across America, “We would not be successful without the help of volunteers, active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry, which offer invaluable support to WAA’s mission to remember the men and women who served our country, honor our military and their families, and teach our children about our freedom and those who protect it.”

University faculty, staff, students, and alumni will be volunteering at the following locations nationwide:

  1. 29 Palms Public Cemetery District — Palms, CA
  2. Miramar National Cemetery — San Diego, CA
  3. Temecula Public Cemetery — Temecula, CA
  4. Tallahassee National Cemetery — Tallahassee, FL
  5. Warriors Walk — Fort Stewart, GA
  6. Veterans Cemetery — Hopkinsville, KY
  7. Massachusetts National Cemetery — Bourne, MA
  8. Field of Honor at Triad Park — Kernersville, NC
  9. Forest Lawn East Cemetery — Weddington, NC
  10. Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery — Fernley, NV
  11. Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery — Boulder City, NV
  12. Farone and Son Funeral Home at Onondaga Veteran’s Cemetery — Syracuse, NY
  13. Killeen City Cemetery — Killeen, TX
  14. Arlington National Cemetery — Arlington, VA
  15. Hampton National Cemetery — Hampton, VA

We encourage volunteers to share their participation by using the hashtag #APUSwreaths on social media. And stay tuned for continuing coverage and photos on the day of the event.

Wreaths Across America truck

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

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