October 15, 2011, 3:08 PM
soldiers go off to war, the responsibilities at home do not
go with them.
ones left behind are expected to cover the domestic bases, but
it can be a daunting task. That's where some volunteers have
the Buffalo Niagara region, two landscapers have been mowing
grass and plowing snow for free through a national program --
Project Evergreen's GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops.
military families cannot say enough good things about Joe Mattucci
and Judy Weigand.
husband and daughter were deployed at the same time this past
summer, and I could not have done it all by myself. That is
all that there is to it," said Town of Tonawanda resident
week, Mattucci's three-member crew mows, trims and edges her
I called Mr. Mattucci to tell him my husband, David, was coming
home from Afghanistan and he didn't have to mow the grass anymore,
he told me to tell my husband thank you for his service and
to rest. He would finish out the season because my husband deserved
the rest," Starr said, amazed at Mattucci's kindness.
of Mattucci Design in Kenmore, is assisting three families with
lawn care this year and has helped several others in past years.
a good feeling for us to give back to military families,"
he said. "We try to do as many as we can, and we haven't
turned anyone down yet."
the snow flies, he hopes officials at SnowCare will link him
up with military families in need of snow removal.
military needs to know that their families are supported at
home while they are on active duty fighting for our freedom
and the freedom of others," said Joy Westenberg, who manages
the national programs. "To date, there are more than 12,000
military families that have registered and 3,400 volunteers."
sponsors of the programs are Cub Cadet for the lawn side and
Boss Snowplow for snow removal, Westenberg said.
is my sixth year, and I have talked to thousands across the
nation, and it is such a help. It is a burden lifted,"
said Westenberg, who lives in Minnesota.
Mattucci, Weigand goes the extra mile in assisting families.
ask Patricia Richeal of North End Avenue in Kenmore.
her grandson, Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Adam Brown, was deployed
to Afghanistan last year, his wife and infant son came to live
with her and her husband, William, who are both 71.
days with persistent snowfall, Weigand was no stranger.
we had a real bad snow day last year, and it did snow a lot,
she would be here two or three times the same day. I'll tell
you she was good," Richeal said.
Brown returned home last June, Weigand installed a sign.
Home Gunnery Sgt. Adam Brown," read the lighted sign on
the Richeal front lawn.
spurred a blizzard of good will in the neighborhood.
honked their horns. People would even drop stuff off, beer,
thank-you cards, a lot of thank-yous," the grandmother
who runs Judy's Landscaping in the Town of Tonawanda, says she
learned of the volunteer program when ordering parts online
from Boss Snowplow's website.
noticed they were looking for volunteers. I just wanted to help,"
what is it like to provide free snowplowing for the families
of deployed service members?
3 in the morning, the conditions can be horrible, but I just
don't give it a second thought. At the end of last season, I
got a beautiful card from one of the families," Weigand
apply for the free services, military families are required
to register online. For grass-cutting, the website is projectevergreen.com/gcft;
for snow removal, it's projectevergreen.com/scft.