Community - Dec 14, 2018
Wreaths for Veterans This ChristmasAlly Melby | Waupaca Foundry
Chloe Heisler raises awareness, money ensuring graves of our country's fallen heroes have wreaths
The holidays are a time about giving, and for the last four years, Chloe Heisler has spent her holiday season raising money to assure no grave in the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (CWVMC) at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King goes wreathless.
Chloe, a junior at Weyauwega-Fremont High School, started placing flags on veteran's graves in July and wreaths in December with her family as a holiday tradition.
"When I was younger our family laid wreaths at the cemetery, but only a third of the graves were covered and knowing my grandpa was a veteran, it touched me," Chloe said.
Wanting to one day assure her grandfather, a Vietnam War veteran in the 101st Airborne Division, was honored with a wreath, Chloe wrote a school report to raise awareness. Members of the American Legion Riders Association heard about Chloe's report and asked her to present it to other members of the association.
Inspired by her motivation to remember veterans, Chloe has since worked with American Legion Riders Association District 8 to raise money every year by going to her community and asking for donations to sponsor wreaths.
Chloe's father, Dan Heisler has worked for at Waupaca Foundry for the past 27 years and is currently a mill room foreman. Since 2014, Waupaca Foundry has supported Chloe's campaign by sponsoring 50 wreaths annually. Currently, Chloe is a part-time employee through a work/study program in Waupaca, Wis. There, she works as a lab technician in the metallurgy lab at Waupaca Foundry where she tests the microstructure of gray iron parts.
Chloe has raised $3,000 in 2018 alone. Her leadership was recognized earlier in the year when she was presented with the 2018 Presidents Volunteer Service Award.
Jeremy Schroeder, principal of Weyauwega-Fremont High School, nominated Heisler for the award. "Chloe is a very positive and bright young lady that is willing to put others first and help others at all times. She is very outgoing and active both in and out of school," he said. "When you meet Chloe, she has a welcoming and cheery smile. She is a role model for others to follow."
"It is important that every veteran has a wreath on their grave because every single person buried in that cemetery risked their lives for us to make our lives so much better. I am so very thankful for every single veteran out there, and every single one should be honored," Chloe said.
Coinciding with "Wreaths Across America Day," on December 15, 2018 Chloe and members of the ALRA District 8 will place wreaths on the graves. More than 7,274 veterans and their dependents are buried in the CWVMC, and this year, every single grave will have a wreath.
Wreath placement will begin at 10 a.m. at N2665 Cty Rd QQ King, WI 54981.