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Published: Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 12:42 PM
— The grass is cut and the lawns have been mowed but the job is not done for the man who wanted to mow veterans’ lawns in all 50 states.
Now he wants others to start up their mowers and tractors and help those who need it, ABC News reported.
Rodney Smith Jr., the owner of a lawn care company in Huntsville, Alabama, left his home earlier this week to get to his final two states -- Alaska and Hawaii, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mr.Hooper in Anchorage,AK. He served 30 years in the U.S Air Force . He said he worked fixing the planes & made sure the supplies got to the troops that needed them . Sir, We thank you for your service ! pic.twitter.com/9Wa8aVQRLV— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 12, 2019
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mrs. Rachel's in Anchorage. She & her husband who passed both served. She was a nurse in the U.S Air Force & he was a green Beret in the U.S Army . They actually met on her first day. They have 3 kids. We thank you both for your service ! pic.twitter.com/MjBOwrPuot— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 11, 2019
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mr. Michael in Anchorage,AK. He served 35+ years in the U.S Army & did 4 tours over in Vietnam . It was an honor meeting him and on behalf of all of us, we thank you for your service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/4q2OknZCsI— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 11, 2019
Thursday, he made it to the Hawaiian islands to finish his job, ABC News reported.
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mrs.Allen who is a veteran as well as a Gold Star Wife in Hawaii. She served 8 years & her husband served 17 years in the U.S Army. They met on their first deployment . Thank you to you & our husband for your service & sacrifice pic.twitter.com/treXG0sYmn— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 13, 2019
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mr. Solivar in Hawaii. He served 28 years in the U.S Army . It was an honor meeting him . Sir , we thank you for your service & sacrifice pic.twitter.com/IREEUUeN5r— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 13, 2019
A big thank you to @Delta for getting me to my last 2 States, @customink for donating my shirts & @TheToroCompany for donating the hats! & to each & every1 of your for your support, encouragement & donations along the way for gas & hotels !You made this possible! THANK YOU!!!! pic.twitter.com/gsZ2ERYPY3— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 13, 2019
He posted a thank you video that included some of the people he’s helped, some featuring photos of their time of service in the military.
Mission Completed! To all our veterans & active duty members around the nation, we thank each & everyone of you for your service! pic.twitter.com/Tn4sGQt0bS— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 13, 2019
His mission started in 2015, when he saw an older man in his hometown having trouble mowing his lawn. A month later, he had mowed his 100th lawn, Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as he drove from New York to Alabama earlier this month.
This was the post that started it all. Even before this even happened I remember asking God to use me as his vessel. He didn't give me an answer the day that I asked him, not a month later , not even a year later. It happened a few years later and this would be that day pic.twitter.com/8XZ18MVZQQ— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 13, 2019
“It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him. That’s when I got my goal to mow lawns for free for the elderly, single moms and veterans,” Smith told ABC News.
Then he recruited young people to help when he realized the job was too big for just one man. He started the 50 Yard Challenge, which has spread around the world.
I have updated the list of where we have kids doing the 50 Yard Challenge. We now have 368 kids in 6 different...Posted by Rodney Smith Jr. on Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Eventually, he decided to make it his goal to focus on veterans.
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mr.Fuglsby in Minneapolis,MN. He served 5+ years in the U.S Navy . He also did a tour in Afghanistan. Sir, we thank you for your service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/JknMwPaKNz— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 4, 2019
He drove through the lower 48 states, but had the help of Atlanta-based Delta Airlines to get to Alaska and Hawaii, the AJC reported.
“I’ve come across so many veterans that are struggling to get their lawn mowed. If they served our country, we should step up for them,” Smith told ABC News.
“This is the least we can do. This is the last thing they need to worry about,” he added.