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Wreaths Across America History Lesson

By on September 1, 2018

Arpin Agent Supports Mission with Traveling Education Exhibit

Wreaths Across America—the national nonprofit best known for the annual wreath-laying ceremonies that take place at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,400 veteran cemeteries across the country each December—has a simple mission: Remember, Honor and Teach. Don Queeney, owner of Virginia-based Hampton Roads Moving and Storage, an agent of Arpin Van Lines, is helping spread the word about the need for trucks and driver support in carrying out this mission.

Queeney has helped Wreaths Across America modify a 48-foot trailer to become a mobile educational exhibit—a traveling theater on wheels—that teaches the history and mission of Wreaths Across America, while inspiring the next generation of volunteers.

“The goal of the educational trailer is to keep the Wreaths Across America mission in front of as many people as possible,” said Queeney. “To Remember, Honor and Teach” about our veterans and remind them that freedom doesn’t come free.”

The Wreaths Across America educational trailer is a multimedia audio-visual experience, featuring a 22-person theater that tells the organization’s story. It is equipped with three touch screens used for finding nearby veteran cemeteries and learning how to be a sponsor, hauler and a volunteer. Storyboards trace major milestones in the growth of Wreaths Across America. A true marble headstone and live wreath from Maine are placed outside the trailer where visitors can take pictures.

“In taking the exhibit to communities, our goal is to be a catalyst for bringing active duty members of the military, veterans, civilians and children together to tell stories of service and sacrifice, while supporting the Remember, Honor and Teach mission,” said Renee Worcester, development and outreach director of Wreaths Across America.

Chevrolet donated the Silverado 3500 used to pull the trailer. The company also provided seed money for Wreaths Across America to buy the trailer and install the audio/visual components.

For the past few months, Queeney has been taking the trailer around the country to moving industry and trucking trade shows to recruit new haulers and volunteers for this year’s National Wreaths Across America Day on December 15.

“Volunteering for Wreaths Across America is very rewarding,” said Queeney. “Every place we go, people are waving, beeping, coming over to say hello and thanking us.”

Next, he plans to visit schools to teach children about the importance of remembering and honoring veterans. Queeney has helped equip the trailer with tables, chairs, coloring books, wreath-making kits and even a Wreaths Across America-branded Lego set.

However, Queeney is close to retirement and is selling Hampton Roads Moving and Storage to his son, Chad. He is searching for several volunteers to assist with the trailer and continue its educational journey around the country. Queeney will stay involved as an advisor to his company and Wreaths Across America.

Arpin Van Lines has been involved in Wreaths Across America since 2013, with participation growing from one driver in the first year to 26 drivers in 2017. Volunteering for this cause has become a valued tradition among Arpin drivers, who use this occasion to pay their respects to the country’s fallen heroes.

To learn more about Wreaths Across America and/or volunteer to help this year, please visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.

About Warren Eulgen

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