(WJLA) - Every weekend, Michele Bevington’s basement is transformed into a festive celebration of flowers.
Volunteers gather to make floral arrangements with donated flowers, vases, and American flags. The finished product is given to a Wounded Warrior at Walter Reed or placed on their table at a military dinner.
"I have people come from Aldie and Woodbridge and Clifton -- all over the area just to spend a couple hours with us and do this, it's amazing," said Bevington.
Bevington started Freedom Petals in 2009 after retiring from a 25-year career with the CIA. Her father was a World War II veteran, and her mother was a war bride from Paris.
“I wanted to do something to give back to veterans to say thank you,” she explained.
So Bevington put a flower cooler in her garage and lined the basement shelves with as many vases as she could find. She says that delivering the flowers to the warriors is bittersweet:
“It is difficult,Ii've seen it all, and these are young kids. I've seen where they've lost all their limbs and very few of them have made it."
But Bevington also says that she is constantly inspired:
“I think celebrating, celebrating to be alive and celebrating to have their families with them - I don't see bitterness, I don't see negativism, I see young people ready to get deployed two and three times."
For more information on Freedom Petals, click here.