Vietnam veteran on mission to clean up veterans’ graves

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:20 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Vietnam veteran in Birmingham is on a mission to serve other veterans by making sure their final resting places are peaceful.

For countless years, the old Green Leaf Heights cemetery in north Birmingham has been forgotten. Some graves date back to the 1800′s. A lot of military veterans are buried there.

Vietnam veteran Larry Phillips and others have been working to clean it up for months.

“It has been a hard effort and we’ve been doing everything by hand,” Phillips said.

Phillips says back then, these veterans couldn’t be buried in places like Elmwood Cemetery - places that are being taken care of today.

“These veterans had to come up here and to graveyards like this. I am a Vietnam veteran and I feel like these veterans deserve just as much care whether they are here anywhere else,” Phillips said.

That’s why he’s asking at least 100 veterans to join in his mission to clean up the cemetery with a goal to try and get it perpetuated like others.

“Veterans still need to be accounted for up here. Any kind of cemetery. If there is a veteran there, that veteran needs to be honored,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ grandparents are also buried at the cemetery.

The clean up day is Saturday, December 12. Phillips is asking 100 veterans to meet at the Flying J on Daniel Payne Drive at 6 a.m. for breakfast, then they’ll head to the cemetery at 8 a.m.

He’s also asking for donations and extra equipment to help. You can donate to the effort here by clicking here.

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