For the eighth straight year, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas received a Christmas wreath Monday morning at Victory Park from Wreaths for Warriors Walk co-founder Bruce Muncher and Vice President Susan Ammons. Following their presentation to the mayor, Enterprise Car Rental presented a check to Muncher.
Muncher thanked Thomas and the city for supporting their nonprofit’s commitment to Fort Stewart soldiers and family members, particularly the families of those soldiers represented by the 468 trees planted at Warriors Walk.
Thomas said those soldiers and their families deserve the support of the community. He said he was glad the city was able to have a small part in Wreaths for Warriors Walk, which ensures a Christmas wreath is placed on each living memorial making up Warriors Walk.
“Warriors Walk was a cooperative project,” said Thomas, who is retired from the Army and civil service. “I was project manager for it. It happened in 2003, right after the troops were deployed to Iraq. (It) was established as a living memorial to memorialize the people who were killed during that time.
“We decided to use eastern redbud trees primarily because they bloom during April, the same time the first soldiers were killed. I’m glad to see the memorial continue. I think it represents the sacrifices of these soldiers and their families.”
Muncher noted that all the eastern redbud trees were replaced by crape myrtles earlier this year because the redbud trees were dying at a rapid rate. They simply were not compatible with South Georgia’s climate and soil. The myrtles, however, thrive in this environment and are expected to live for 75-100 years, which will make Warriors Walk a memorial that can be visited for many generations.
Justin Ulichney of Enterprise Car Rental said their donation to W4WW was part of their “strengthen one neighborhood at a time” program.
“We thought this was a fantastic way to give back to our community,” Ulichney said. “It’s one of the best causes you can give to. These soldiers are giving their lives for us. We thought this was the least we could do. (The check) was a little over $450. It’s a good offering though I wish we could give more.”
Ulichney encourages other businesses in the community to support charitable causes and nonprofit organizations like W4WW.