TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The holidays are a time for family to come together and celebrate. However, for many, there is an empty seat at the table. Countless military families in the United States will be celebrating the holidays without a loved one. They may be deployed overseas, stationed out of state, or no longer with us.
This is a reality for Diana Pitts.
“I lost my oldest son, Corporal David Unger, October 17 of 2006. Not only that, but in 2011 my second oldest son decided to join the Army, he’s currently in Hawaii. Then I also have a son-in-law who’s currently serving,” explained Pitts.
Diana says the holidays are a difficult time for military families.
“You can’t just always pick up the phone, you can’t always just have them come home and it’s rough and our family is one out of thousands,” she said.
Because of her experience, Diana became involved in the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America. The charity lays wreaths on the graves of fallen veterans each year. They also hold ceremonies to commemorate both veterans and active duty military.
Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers laid a wreath to symbolize the program Monday at the Kansas Capitol.
“I want every Kansan to know how important our military servicemen and women are, both active duty, those that we’ve lost, and those veterans that are in our communities, how important they are to the lifeblood of our community,” said Rogers.
Saturday is Wreaths Across America Day. Thousands of wreaths will be laid on graves across the country and ceremonies will be held to remember the fallen. There are 15 locations in Kansas that are participating. The organization is looking for people to sponsor wreaths as well as volunteer to place wreaths on graves.
Click here to find a location near you and volunteer placing wreaths on Saturday.