HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Don Mattox, a disabled military retiree, is giving back to his country one lawn at a time.
“GreenCare For Troops is really the simplest concept you can think about,” Mattox said. “It’s cutting grass for soldiers families that are deployed.”
GreenCare For Troops is a national outreach program, run by Project Evergreen, that provides free lawn service.
Mattox, along with his John Deere, helps five families, including his neighbor Tara Buller, whose husband is in Afghanistan.
“With two kids, school and work, it’s just one less role that I have to take on,” Buller said. “It’s nice to come home and see the yard mowed, I think, I don’t have to do that today.”
But Mattox says there is a problem. With so many families signing up for the program, the need is outweighing the support.
“In Alabama we have 27 volunteers,” Mattox said. “That is the entire state of Alabama, from Mobile to Huntsville. Currently, just in Alabama alone, there are over a thousand troops, National Guard, reservists, that are deployed. These families need care.”
Paul Bonner has been volunteering for two weeks and sees the benefits.
“I can typically put in about four hours a week. I’m going to try and do that every week,” Bonner said. “But with my job, there will be times that I can’t. But I will be thinking about it, I can tell you that.”
The rural areas of north Alabama need some support.
“We have families in, not only this county, but Colbert County, Franklin County and Lauderdale County that will also need some volunteers,” Maj. Barry Clayton added.