By Michael Isam
St. Augustine, Fla. – All graves recognized in massive campaign.
Although SGM (Ret.) Daniel Blackman received the award, “I did not do this myself. I had a lot of help from many sources, especially our Veteran Motorcycle Associations.” “Not only did we meet our goal to place a wreath on every grave (1218) in the St. Augustine National Cemetery, but thanks to the efforts of Legacy Vets and others, we have a good leg up on donations for next year.
Blackman was one of two recognized for their assistance in the ongoing campaign “Wreaths Across America.” The other recipient, Danielle McQuarry of Two Men and A Truck, has been a supporter since the campaign began here in 2007. “It is an almost physical impossibility for a semi to navigate the narrow streets in St. Augustine,” said McQuarry. “We meet the south-bound semi at SR 206 and I95 to off-load them to one of our vans and transport the wreaths to the cemetery.” This seemed to be the best way we could be of service.” McQuarry was out of town for the ceremony and will be recognized at the January 31, 2013 meeting.
In addition to the ceremony, John Holzbaur, Veterans Outreach for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, spoke about the newly formed Veterans Treatment Court. The court has been formed to provide assistance to combat veterans returning to civilian life who find themselves in the court system and to avoid unnecessary incarceration of veterans who have developed mental health problems. The program includes a veterans’ justice outreach coordinator who helps veterans find the benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.