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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 July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continued as CEO of APEI. In September 2017, he was reappointed APUS president after the resignation of Dr. Karan Powell. In September 2019, Angela Selden was named CEO of APEI, succeeding Dr. Boston who will remain APUS president until his planned retirement in June 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. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 90,000 alumni. In addition to his service as a board member of APUS and APEI, Dr. Boston is 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, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum, and a board member of Hondros College of Nursing and Fidelis, Inc. 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. Dr. Boston lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Sharon and their two daughters.

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