(Photo courtesy of Wreaths Across America)

General Motors donates 12,000 wreaths and 12 vehicles in support of Wreaths Across America

December 10, 2018 - 2:11 pm
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Over a quarter of a million wreaths are currently on their way to Arlington National Cemetery, and leading the convoy are 12 Chevrolet vehicles, part of Chevy Cares.

“I would encourage anybody to get involved with any veterans organization that they feel most aligned to, to try and give back to those that have served and those that are currently serving,” said retired U.S. Navy Captain and Chief Diversity Officer of General Motors, Ken Barrett.

For Barrett and his team at General Motors (GM), that organization is Wreaths Across America.

“General Motors is always looking to try to partner with great organizations that either are helping military families, the military in general, veterans or anything that really highlights the service that people have given,” said Barrett.

(Photo courtesy of General Motors Co.)

Before Barrett was tapped at his current position within one of the largest automotive manufacturing companies in the country, he worked in engineering and operations in the U.S. Navy. But even for a top executive, he faced difficulties transitioning as well.

“I had to actually start thinking about what I needed to wear, so understanding what to dress appropriately in for my new corporate environment was certainly something that was kind of front and center for me,” recalled Barrett.

Today, Barrett is one of the many veterans employed at GM. The company currently boasts nearly 6,000 veteran employees and over 40,000 GM retirees.

“For me, it’s been a great transition. Our former Chairman and CEO, Dan Akerson, was a Naval Academy graduate so there was that kind of Navy tie for me and also, my first car was a Camaro so I’m saying, ‘hey this is definitely a sign, I’m coming to Detroit,’ And I’m certainly glad that I did,” said Barrett, during a segment on Eye on Veterans.

While GM became a natural career fit for Barrett, giving back through Wreaths Across America has been a natural fit for the company. As part of Chevy Cares, Chevrolet is providing six Suburbans, five Traverses, and one “military wrap” Camaro to lead the convoy of wreaths for the national event.

RELATED: Follow the Wreaths Across America Convoy with us!

GM is also providing 4,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery while dealerships in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions are donating an additional 8,000 wreaths to other regional cemeteries and final places of rest around the country.

"It’s important for folks to take advantage and make sure that history is not lost. The whole aspect of teaching the next generation of what these men and women have given to our country is an important lesson to learn,” said Barrett.

RELATED:  Volunteer with Connecting Vets for Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America’s goal is to place 1.8 million wreaths this season and through Chevrolet and the larger umbrella of GM, they’ll be able to get closer to that goal.

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