Volunteers paid tribute on Friday to those who served in the Vietnam War.
With rakes and shovels in hand, the volunteers traded in combat boots and dog tags for work boots and garden gloves to help clean up the Veterans Memorial in Mount Pleasant.
Kim Stub, vice president of chapter 3 of the Forgotten Eagles, wanted to clean up the memorial so the veterans weren't forgotten.
Walls adorned with the names of Michigan's fallen soldiers and flags flying proud commemorate those who fought in the Vietnam War. With the help of Home Depot and the Mount Pleasant Forgotten Eagles, the memorial got a fresh batch of mulch and flowers.
"Tons of flowers that we're planting, we're going to be painting, staining, replacing some landscape timbers. We've got new flags, new mulch, new soil. It's going to look beautiful when we're done," said Donna Hines, store manager of the Mount Pleasant Home Depot.
Many of the volunteers were veterans themselves. They said it feels great to get their hands in the dirt and give back to their fellow veterans.
Milt Harboum, who served in Vietnam, volunteered to clean up the memorial. His brother-in-law's name is one of those on the wall.
"It was tough the first time I came down here knowing what the names were on the wall and walking it and looking for his name," Harboum said. "It gets a little easier but you still get that lump in your throat."
Even those who didn't serve put their gloves and spades to dirt to give gratitude to the veterans.
"I'm not a veteran, but I believe in the veterans. A lot of my family members were veterans and I think this is a good cause to support and let them know that they are not forgotten," said David Capuson, a member of the Forgotten Eagles.
The Forgotten Eagles and Home Depot have spruced up the memorial annually for the past three years. Veterans said it is a great, peaceful place to go.
Copyright 2014 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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