AUSTIN (KXAN) — The holidays mark the season of giving, and one 11-year-old Cedar Park boy is giving back to those who’ve served, one wreath at a time.
For four years now, Remmer Machamer has helped raise thousands of dollars to sponsor wreaths that adorn veterans’ graves at Texas State Cemetery. This December, he is looking to help lay wreaths at 3,300 graves.
While attending a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting with his mom, he first heard about efforts to lay wreaths on the graves of every U.S. veteran. At that meeting, he said he learned there were 300 graves at the Texas State Cemetery that did not receive a wreath.
“That really bugged me. I wanted to do something about it,” he said. “So I wrote a speech and started going door to door, asking for donations.”
Machamer works with Wreaths Across America in his effort to request wreath sponsorship donations. For every two wreaths sponsored, the Texas State Cemetery will receive three wreaths.
So far, more than 3,000 wreaths have been sponsored through the Texas State Cemetery campaign, with fewer than 300 left to go before the donation deadline on Tuesday.
Each November, Machamer and his family spend countless hours each week canvassing for donations. The work is exhausting, he said, but fulfilling when families learn their loved ones will receive a memorial wreath.
“It’s worth it for the veteran, and I hope people will understand that it’s not about me and it’s about the veterans,” he said. “They have risked their life serving and protecting our country.”
Beyond donating, he said those interested in helping out with Wreaths Across America can get involved in future wreath donation campaigns or help with cleanup processes. If all 3,300 Texas State Cemetery veteran wreaths are sponsored, there will be a dedication ceremony on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.
“I feel like it’s very important that all of the veterans are remembered,” he said. “All of them, no matter how small their mission was, should all be remembered.”
To learn more about Machamer’s fundraiser and how to donate, go to the Wreaths Across America website.