An Alabama man has travelled to all 50 states to mow US veteran’s lawns for free.
Rodney Smith Jr, 29, finished his months-long effort of honouring veterans on Thursday (June 13), when he arrived in Hawaii.
The 29-year-old first got the inspiration for the project almost five years ago, when he saw an elderly man attempting to mow his lawn on his own.
Since then, Rodney has toured the US a total of five times, although this is the first time he’s done it to raise awareness for veterans.
The 29-year-old is the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a foundation that provides free lawn care to those who need help, CNN reports.
His current tour of America began more than a year ago on May 5. Although it was initially supposed to be a seven-continent tour, Rodney changed his mind in order to help those who have served the US.
Hello TN, Just passing thru. Headed home to Huntsville,AL then flying out to Alaska & Hawaii to finish off our 50 state mowing tour for our veterans, thanking them for their service . Beautiful State, hope to be back soon to mow here again in TN pic.twitter.com/zGh06AJOLw
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 8, 2019
The kindhearted man told ABC News:
I thought I would travel to all 50 states to make people more aware of the foundation. I’ve come across so many veterans that are struggling to get their lawn mowed. If they served for our country, we should step up for them.
This is the least we can do. This is the last thing they need to worry about.
Some of his favourite conversations, Rodney said, have been with World War II veterans as it’s ‘amazing’ to hear what they have been through.
The 29-year-old drove his SUV through all 48 states of the US mainland, but required the help of Delta Airlines for the final two states, Alaska and Hawaii.
The airline came through after he tweeted them, with Rodney saying:
They put me in first class and everything to get me here and back home.
Incredibly, Rodney’s passion doesn’t stop at his Lawn Care Service; he also runs a ’50 Lawn Challenge’ project, encouraging children to mow 50 lawns in their neighbourhood for those who might struggle to do so on their own.
In return? The kids receive a T-shirt, sunglasses and ear protection for the job. They can then work their way up to receiving a mower and weed trimmer for free.
This is your captain speaking. Off to my last two states. First up state 49, Anchorage, Alaska. It's a 7 hr direct flight. I decided to fly myself . Can't wait to mow for our veterans there. Thank you Delta for the keys to the plane ! pic.twitter.com/kpB9bkwiLI
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 10, 2019
The 29-year-old estimates he’s mowed at least 2,500 lawns since 2015, and says he’s finally found his purpose – to help others.
Hats off to Rodney for helping those in need in such a great way. What an amazing cause.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).