North Texas family honors fallen son, other soldiers - Dallas News |

North Texas family honors fallen son, soldiers with headstone wreaths

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A North Texas family is honoring their son and other fallen soldiers. The symbol of their gratitude is show through wreaths that are to be placed on the headstones of the heroes at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

When the family first heard about the national organization, Wreaths Across America, in 2008, there were only about 50 headstones at the ceremony receiving wreaths.

This year, at least 7,000 will be decorated, and that means a lot to the family and so many others.

Mary Bush recalls getting the news that her 22-year-old son, Cpl. Peter John Courcy, a Frisco High School graduate, was killed in Afghanistan Feb. 10, 2009 -- three weeks before he was due to come home.

The holidays the year of his death were especially tough.

But she and her husband, Chris, found hope in a very simple act.

"I look at it now as, if we can lay these wreaths to these soldiers, maybe we can bring a little bit of joy to the families who are still in their grief process," she said.

"A lot of people only go to cemeteries for funerals," said Chris. "It's not just about funerals at the National Cenetery. It's about honor."

The Bushes see it not only as an act of gratitude to all service members, but also as a teaching moment for their 4-year-old son, Luke, and other kids learning about our fallen heroes.

Cpl. Coursy never got to meet Luke, who was born 10 days after his big brother's death.

Mary's son gave the ultimate gift, and the wreaths are a small token of thanks.

The wreaths cost $15 each, but if you buy two, they'll add a third one.

Wreaths Across America is the national organization, but there is a local website affiliated with it called

Ordering through that site ensures the wreaths will go to graves at DFW National Cemetery.

The cutoff for this year is Dec. 2, and they'll be laid on Dec. 14 in a wonderful ceremony at the cemetery.

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