An Alabama man on a quest to mow veterans’ lawns in all 50 states will make it to Alaska and Hawaii next week with the help of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Rodney Smith Jr., who runs a lawn care company in Huntsville, said he leaves Monday for the Last Frontier according to WSB.
“I’ve come across so many veterans struggling to get their lawns mowed and that should be the least of a veteran’s worries.”
This is Smith’s fifth U.S. lawn-mowing tour, and he hopes to help one or two veterans in each state.
“We mow lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans,” Smith told AJC.com as he drove from New York back to Alabama on Saturday morning. “For my fifth time across the country, I’m just doing a tour for the veterans to thank them for their service.”
Smith, 29, has been mowing lawns free of charge since 2015 when the then-college student came across an older gentleman struggling to cut his grass.
“I pulled over and helped him out, and that night I decided I would start mowing lawns for free,” he said. “A month and a half later I reached my 100th lawn.”
His mission has spread on social media as young people across the county sign on to take part in “The 50-yard Challenge,” where they mow 50 yards free of charge.
Once they’ve mowed all 50 lawns, Smith and his team fly out to wherever they are and provide them with free mowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers. Nearly 400 kids in six countries have volunteered so far.
Started in New Jersey this AM, 14 hr later I’m back in Sweet Home Alabama ! pic.twitter.com/2MWxCMO9NM
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 9, 2019
The entire operation is funded by donations.
“I’ve come across so many veterans struggling to get their lawns mowed and that should be the least of a veteran’s worries,” he said.
A Delta spokesman said the company was familiar with Smith’s previous work and eager to help him reach the last two states on his nationwide tour.