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Non-profit places wreath on military headstones

Posted at 7:14 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 20:36:25-05

For the past three years, a non-profit in Muskogee County has made it their mission during the holiday season to remember those who served by placing thousands of wreaths on headstones.

More than 21,000 servicemen and women are in their final resting place at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.

"My dad is buried here," Maddy Castillo, Thunderbird Youth Academy Cadet. "He died in 2017."

Castillo, along with the Thunderbird Youth Academy, fixed her dad’s wreath for the first time.

"My birthday is around the corner and I just had to spend the first Thanksgiving without him," Castillo said.

But Castillo isn’t the only one who feels a special connection to this cemetery. Vice Chairman Bonnie Harper started the nonprofit ‘Wreaths for fallen Heroes’ in 2015, and has made it her mission to place a wreath on every single headstone in the cemetery.

Harper’s son was killed in Iraq 11 years ago.

"His headstone is Arlington," Harper said. "I don’t know if I’m really mentally ready to come face to face with that headstone."

So until then, she’s taking care of the men and women in Oklahoma.

"It’s given me great comfort because not a lot of mother’s can be here to place a wreath on these headstones," Harper said. "Well I’m a momma, and by golly, I’ll lay one for them."

"Just the fact that people are willing to donate to the veterans and donate to him. It’s really special," said Castillo.

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