Cleveland man volunteers time to make Fort Hills Veteran Cemeter - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland man volunteers time to make Fort Hills Veteran Cemetery perfect

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

One man in Cleveland has made it his mission in life to honor our local veterans. Robert Goins volunteers to make sure a local cemetery is perfect.
    
Robert Goins visits Fort Hills Veterans Cemetery twice a week, It's something he's done for 18 years.

 "Lt. Colonel, he is the highest ranking we got in there," said Goins. 

There are 192 graves, everyone has a story.  

"Don Earl King right over there, he used to be a gas station attendant and he lost his right arm," says Goins. "I used to buy gas from him, as a little boy."
 
Goins treats them all like family, he mows and trims the weeds. He scrubs the headstones until they shine like new. 

"I'm telling you what, this place is like my second home. I'm just proud to be able to do what I do. I'm proud I am taking care of these Veterans," says Goins. 

Veteran Families say they're proud of his work. 
   
"I feel grateful they are remembered and they're not forgotten," says visitor Dolores Koob. " I'm glad he is being recognized. He has always worked hard, so hard in the background. We've become close friends. 

A recent theft left Goins without any equipment. 

" It just made me feel so bad. I don't know how anybody would steal from a cemetery, I still don't understand," says Goins. I'm going to make it harder on them though. They better be glad I wasn't here. I would have wrecked my car trying to stop them."

Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services gave him a brand new lawn mower and leaf blower, to make it right. Goins says he also has a new weed eater on the way. 

"The veterans put a lot on the line for us so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have today and that's just a small small part that we could do," says Greg Rush, Owner /Funeral Director of Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services. "The last thing those families in that particular part of the cemetery, the last thing they should be worried about is the upkeep and they have not had to worry about that so that's a good thing. We are proud of Robert he is a good man." 

Goins wanted to serve his country too but a serious motorcycle accident kept him home. At age 67, he wants to do this for at least another 20 years.

" Yea everybody in here is my family, all these Veterans, 192 of them, we are all family," says Goins. "I'm just proud to be along everybody in here."

Goins says he loves to personally meet and thank our Nations veterans, he invites any veteran down to the Fort Hills  Cemetery for a chat. He's also got a "to-do" list for anyone wanting to lend a helping hand. He plans to keep a close eye on this new equipment saying he will re-enforcing the cemetery's security soon. 

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