Abilene floral shop honors fallen soldiers

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ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — An Abilene floral shop has made it its dedication to honoring the fallen soldiers. 

“I went to Iraq 3 times.” 

Veteran Fred Vaught served in the U.S. Army for 15 years. 

“Memorial Day is more about remembering the guys who didn’t come back,” says Vaught.  

And has been involved with one of the Abilene alliance clubs to acknowledge those soldiers who may not have visitors on holidays, such as this one. 

“We should be thanking 365 days out of the year but being able to do it on a holiday like this, it makes it feel a little bit more special.” 

Co-owner of Gary’s Floral Gallery, Kimberly Prater is also a part of that alliance and invited family members of the veterans laid to rest at the Texas State Veteran’s Cemetery to come and receive roses. 

“It’s not just laying a rose at the headstone. You need to read the person’s name, thank them for their service, and then set the rose,” Prater. 

Coming from a military family herself, she’s made this her mission to honor every soldier laid to rest at the veteran’s cemetery. 

“So, it’s a little bit more of a ceremony than just kind of walking by and setting a rose down. So, it means a little bit more to the people that are doing it,” says Prater. 

And Vaught says being around those who understand what he’s gone through is pretty much like his second family. 

“All of the guys that I’ve been hanging around with, all the vets were all combat veterans. So that’s a different breed all into itself because of the different hardships,” says Vaught.  

Gary’s Floral Gallery typically has a Memorial Day rose ceremony, however, due to Covid-19 restrictions, they were not able to have it. They do hope to be back on track for next year. 

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