Arpin agent supports traveling education exhibit to teach history of WAA
Wreaths Across America, the national nonprofit best known for the annual wreath-laying ceremonies that take place at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,400 veteran cemeteries across the country each December, has a simple mission: Remember, Honor and Teach. Don Queeney, owner of Virginia-based Hampton Roads Moving and Storage, an agent of Arpin Van Lines, is helping to put this mission into practice.
Queeney has helped Wreaths Across America modify and transport a 48-foot trailer into a mobile educational exhibit — a traveling theater on wheels — that teaches the history and mission of Wreaths Across America, while inspiring the next generation of volunteers.
“The goal of the educational trailer is to keep the Wreaths Across America mission out in front of as many people as possible,” said Queeney. “To Remember, Honor and Teach about our veterans and remind them that freedom doesn’t come free.”
The Wreaths Across America educational trailer is a multimedia audio-visual experience, featuring a 22-person capacity theater that tells the organization’s story. It is equipped with three touch screens used for finding nearby veteran cemeteries and learning how to be a sponsor, hauler and a volunteer. Storyboards trace major milestones in the growth of Wreaths Across America. A true marble headstone and live wreath from Maine are placed outside the trailer where visitors can take pictures.
"We’re excited to bring the exhibit to communities in hopes that it will be a catalyst to bring active duty, veterans, civilians and children together to tell stories of service and sacrifice while spreading the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach," said Renee Worcester, development and outreach director of Wreaths Across America.
Chevrolet donated the Silverado 3500 used to pull the trailer. The company also provided seed money for Wreaths Across America to buy the trailer and install the audio/visual components.
For the past few months, Queeney has been taking the trailer around the country to moving industry and trucking trade shows to recruit new haulers and volunteers for the next National Wreaths Across America Day on December 15.
“Volunteering for Wreaths Across America is very rewarding,” said Queeney. “Every place we go, people are waving, beeping, coming over to say hello and thanking us.”
Next, he plans to visit schools to teach children about the importance of remembering and honoring veterans. Queeney has helped equip the trailer with tables, chairs, coloring books, wreath-making kits and even a Wreaths Across America-branded Lego set.
However, Queeney is close to retirement and is selling Hampton Roads Moving and Storage to his son, Chad. He is searching for several volunteers to assist with the trailer and continue its educational journey around the country. Queeney will stay involved as an advisor to his company and Wreaths Across America.
Arpin Van Lines has been involved in Wreaths Across America since 2013, with participation growing from one driver in the first year to 26 drivers in 2017. Volunteering for this cause has become a valued tradition among Arpin drivers, who use this occasion to pay their respects to the country’s fallen heroes.
About Wreaths Across America:
Wreaths Across America is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery started by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992. The organization coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 800 cemeteries and military memorials in all 50 states. In 2008, and each year since, Congress has issued a proclamation officially recognizing “National Wreaths Across America Day” each December. More information may be found on the organization’s website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
About Arpin Van Lines:
Arpin Van Lines is an industry innovator in full-service moving and storage solutions for corporate, private residential, government and military customers with a network of over 600 affiliated agencies. Headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Arpin Van Lines is the domestic U.S. arm of Arpin Group, which also includes Arpin International Group, Creative Storage Solutions, Arpin Associates, Arpin Renewable Energy and Arpin Broadcast Network. With over 100 years of experience, Arpin Van Lines has remained owned and operated by the Arpin family, continuing the tradition and the core values of Creating Customers For Life®. It is a ProMover® member of the American Moving and Storage Association and the official mover of the LPGA. For more information, call +1 401-828-8111 or visit www.Arpin.com.