Robert Goins spends hours clearing the veterans cemetery at Fort Hill Cemetery, and it is his way to not only honor those who served in the military, but is his way of honoring his father.Goins was …
Robert Goins spends hours clearing the veterans cemetery at Fort Hill Cemetery, and it is his way to not only honor those who served in the military, but is his way of honoring his father.
Goins was unable to serve in the military due to a motorcycle accident, but was very proud of his father's service in the U.S. Army during World War II.
"My father served in the Army, and was honorably discharged in 1946," Goins said. "I am so proud of his service to his country during WWII."
His father, Paul, was discharged as a private first class, and spent time serving in the Army in Europe.
"I wanted to serve, but my injury caused me not to be taken," Goins said. Yet, he wanted to serve his country and those who were able to serve, which led him to volunteering his services in cleaning up the veterans section of the cemetery at Fort Hill.
He said many changes have been made to that part of the cemetery, including a covered meeting area and U.S. flag site at that portion of the cemetery. Headstones for veterans were also placed at the cemetery which mirror other stones for veterans in other sites.
"But, some of them need to be cleaned, and, to honor my dad, me and my brother Paul spent time cleaning the headstone," he said. It now looks cleared, and the wording on the stone is much more legible.
Goins continues to clear the veterans' section, and admits that there are those who do not honor that site. He said that there are many who live in the wooded area around the cemetery, and while he understands there are those homeless in the area, many of them are also vets.
"They need to be honored, too, and though we cannot know who they all are, if there are any veterans in the area that need assistance, they should go to the Veterans Affairs office," Goins said. He added it is possible they may have the opportunity to plan for plots of their own in that section of Fort Hill.
Many have also made donations to Goins' project of clearing the veterans cemetery and keeping it clean. He said if any would like to donate machinery, such as lawnmowers and grass trimmers, they can come by the cemetery and speak with him.
"These men and women gave their all for our country, and the least we can do is remember them in this way," Goins said. "It is my way of thanking my father for his service to our country."
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