It's hard to believe there are less than 100 days until National Wreaths Across America Day Saturday, December 16, 2017.

As time whizzes by, millions of dedicated, patriotic volunteers across this great nation are working to sponsor veterans' remembrance wreaths to honor our nation's fallen heroes. As they do Wreaths Across America is sharing the stories of our volunteers and the work they're doing in their communities to say their names in its #CountDown to Wreath Day 2017.

The motivation to volunteer is as unique as the individual yet many fall into one particular group. It's a group no one would never aspire to join. Wreaths Across America and its extended family of volunteers believe this group of men and women is one to be honored and supported.

In 2016, Wreaths Across America announced its partnership with the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. then under the leadership of Candy Martin.

In 2017, Sue Pollard is the acting National President of the AGSM organization, and like Candy, her ultimate sacrifice to our nation was the life of her son.

When our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, Justin was just 19 years old.  Sue says he enlisted immediately and after basic training celebrated his 21st birthday in the Middle East.

Army Spc. Justin W. Pollard

Army Spc. Justin W. Pollard

"My story is a little different because my son Justin was killed in a non-combat related friendly fire incident," Sue explains. " It was an accident. A rifle that was being inspected was on burst instead of safety so when it was set down three rounds went off, and one of them killed Justin. He died in Iraq on December 30, 2003."

Justin is buried at Pacific View Cemetery in Corona del Mar, California. According to the Associated Press, his funeral was attended by more than 500 people during which the Pastor of Saddleback Church, Bob Baker, stated, "because of his death, Veterans Day will forever be different for everyone who knew Pollard. The concept of liberty takes on a new meaning because we now understand the price,” he said.

It's around the holidays when Sue and other Gold Star families feel the pain of their loss and separation from their loved ones the most.

Just as the founder of American Gold Star Mothers Grace Darling Seibold healed her broken heart by giving back to veterans' causes, Sue is doing the same.

"This year, I've asked the Gold Star Mothers to 'share Grace' because it will be the 90th anniversary of the founding of the organization at my convention in 2018," Sue explains. "I also explain Grace is what we need to give to each other. We're just Moms who serve through the organization to make sure that our children's names and lives are not forgotten. I hope I can bring a positive perspective to show others there is hope after our children die and we have support for others. Gold Star mothers are here for each other."

Sue has been involved with Wreaths Across America since joining the national Board for AGSM, and she traveled on the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery in 2015.

"I was amazed by that experience," shares Sue. "I live in California, and you're more patriotic on the East Coast it seems compared to the West Coast. To see the children come out to greet us waving flags, and they'd sing for us. It was incredible. I met so many people that I admire along the way like Karen and Morrill."

Sue says she and the American Gold Star Mothers organization is committed to working with Wreaths Across America for the greater good of the military, our veterans, and their families as we remember, honor and teach.

Tune in to Wreaths Across America radio as we feature our Countdown to Wreath Day stories at 10:00 AM Eastern, Monday-Friday.

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