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DaVita employees honor veterans

Lead volunteer Karen Lemley, second from the right, poses with her family and volunteers next to the grave of her son-in-law, Army Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, who was killed in Afghanistan in July. - Courtesy photo
Lead volunteer Karen Lemley, second from the right, poses with her family and volunteers next to the grave of her son-in-law, Army Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, who was killed in Afghanistan in July.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

A group of DaVita employees from Kent volunteered with friends and family to lay 1,600 wreaths on graves at Tahoma National Cemetery on Dec. 15.

The day including a ceremony with prayer.

For lead volunteer Karen Lemley, family and volunteers, it was an opportunity to honor veterans. Lemley's son-in-law, Army Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, who was killed in Afghanistan in July.

The effort was part of the DaVita employees' "Village Service Day," a community project that embraces the spirit of Wreaths Across America – the placing of wreaths on graves in all 50 states, including 24 national cemeteries.

The symbolic gesture, which honors veterans for their service, began more than 20 years ago at Arlington National Cemetery.

Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization, has expanded since the inaugural ceremony at Arlington.

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