KILLEEN, TX — Eric Gehring laid his first wreath for Wreath for Vets in 2008 - after that he knew a tradition had started.
"Part of its honor, part of it is still giving back," Gehring said.
He still chooses to give back eve after serving our country for 26 years in the military. Gehring was deployed 5 times for combat. Even though he loved his job there were always certain thoughts going through his head.
"Not so much when you were going but was I coming back but the best part was I was doing this with some of my best battle buddies that I'll ever know," Gehring said.
Now that he is retired, he makes sure to volunteer during this time of year for the annual Wreaths for Vets event. He participates in the preparation, laying and collecting of the wreaths for our fallen heroes.
"The most important thing is that everybody out here is important," Gehring said. "Whether they served in the military or they have a loved one in the military we need to honor them too."
His favorite part is seeing the rows and rows of wreaths in front of every headstone at the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery. Feeling good and remembering those who are lost is his reason for coming back each year.
"To never forget the sacrifice. They're out here on these hallowed grounds here in Central Texas and lets just not forget them," Gehring said.
The Wreaths for Vets preparation event is Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Killeen Special Events Center at 10 a.m.
The Wreath laying ceremony will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at 10 a.m. after the wreaths are escorted in the ceremony will take place and the wreaths will then be layed on every single head stone.
Wreaths for Vets will be prepping almost 10,000 wreaths this year.