COLUMBIA FALLS, ME – The mission of Wreaths Across America (WAA) is to Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve and their families, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. Although most people will know the organization best as the folks who lay wreaths at Arlington Nation Cemetery on December 18th this year, The WAA mission is year-round and supported by the efforts of thousands of dedicated local volunteers throughout America.
Each year, WAA recognizes some truly outstanding individuals with our national Remember, Honor, Teach and Learn Awards. These award recipients are chosen from recommendations by our volunteer base and staff, culminating in an extensive review process by the WAA Executive Leadership Team. Other awards include the Jim Prout Spirit of Giving Award which is chosen by the WAA Logistics Team based on recommendations from wreath truck drivers, volunteers, and staff and the Founders Award which is an honor bestowed by the Worcester family and our Founder, Morrill Worcester for appreciation of outstanding contributions in the effort to honor our nation’s veterans.
On July 24that the WAA museum and headquarters in Maine, WAA proudly announces this year’s Remember, Honor, Teach and Learn Award winners.
And the winners are:
Remember Award: Given to an individual or group who REMEMBERS the fallen and their sacrifice in a way that goes above and beyond. This year’s recipient is Fran Haasch Law Group based in Florida.
The Fran Haasch Law Group has long been a supporter of efforts to raise funds and awareness for WAA’s mission in Florida. “Whether it is donating funds to sponsor wreaths to ensure as many veterans are remembered as possible each December or her time, Fran ‘gets it’,” said Randy Lewer, WAA Board Member and Volunteer Location Coordinator for Florida National Cemetery. “She, and her whole team, really understand why it is so important to remember our nation’s veterans and honor their service and sacrifice. She is a passionate supporter, a dedicated leader in the community, and someone I am honored to consider a friend.”
Teach Award: Given annually to an individual or group who has made a large contribution in TEACHING the next generation to Remember and Honor those who serve in our nation’s military. This year’s recipient is PenFed Credit Union based in Pennsylvania. Company CEO James Schenck proudly accepted the award.
“PenFed is honored to receive this award on behalf of our more than 3,000 financial professionals and 2.3 million members,” said James Schenck, president/CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of PenFed Foundation. “We are passionate about ensuring the men and women who defended our nation’s freedoms are honored and remembered. For the past two years, we’ve participated in the wreaths escort and have been moved by the words of veterans, supporters, and participants who shared what Wreaths Across America means to them. It’s an honor to continue teaching the next generation by telling the stories of our nation’s heroes and their families.”
Learn Award: Given semi-annually to a young individual who has learned, and understands, the Wreaths Across America mission and incorporates it into their young life. This year’s recipient is 18-year-old Brady Kirk of Maine.
“The Learn Award is something we developed back in 2015 as a way to express the importance of not only teaching as part of the mission but for youth to LEARN what it means to serve and sacrifice for this country and then use that knowledge in their own young lives,” said Wayne Hanson, Chairman of the Board, Wreaths Across America. “It has been our honor and privilege to watch Brady literally grow up in front of us over the last decade, and knowing he has taken what he’s learned and has chosen to serve his community makes me and the entire WAA family very proud.”
Jim Prout Spirit of Giving Award: Named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine. Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths to Arlington when the program was in its infancy. The Award is given annually to a deserving professional truck driver or carrier that has supported charitable causes in a way that will positively affect generations to come. This year’s recipient is Bennett Transportation headquartered in Georgia. Lee Gentry accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
“Wreaths Across America holds a special place in the hearts of the truck drivers, agents, and employees of the Bennett Family of Companies,” said Lee Gentry. Many of our team have served our country, have family members currently serving, or have known someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As part of our commitment to Patriotism, we have embraced the cause of Wreaths Across America – and of the National Cemetery that is closest to our company, Andersonville National Cemetery. It is our great honor to be a part of the Wreaths Across America family, to continue to Remember, Honor and Teach those around us about the brave men and women who we recognize during the holidays and at events like this throughout the year. On behalf of the entire team, we are humbled and grateful for this special honor.”
Upcoming Award Announcements:
Honor Award: Given annually to an individual or group who HONORS those who serve and their families in a way that supports the Wreaths Across America mission. This year’s recipient is to be presented by Karen and Morrill in September at a Medal of Honor Society event being held in Boston.
Founders Award: Chosen by Wreaths Across America Founder Morrill Worcester, this award is presented to an individual or group who exemplifies the mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach, and shows active support of our nation’s military and veterans. This year’s recipient is
This year’s recipient will be announced at a special event planned for Friday, Dec. 17, at an event in Washington D.C the night before Wreaths Across America Day.
Help support the wonderful efforts of these amazing people by sponsoring a veteran’s wreath anytime for $15 at www.wreathacrossamerica.org. Each sponsorship goes toward a live, balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as we endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest at noon on Saturday, December 18, 2021, as part of National Wreaths Across America Day.
Click here to find a local participating cemetery near you to support go to and type in your town and/or state.