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Meet ‘The Good Cemeterian’ Who Spends His Only Day Off Cleaning Vets’ Gravestones
When the weekend arrives, most people spend it relaxing, lounging and recovering from a week of hard work, especially for those who work six days out of the week. But for one 46-year-old business owner, that one day off is spent cleaning the tombstones of veterans.
For the last two and a half years, Andrew Lumish has spent every Sunday cleaning the gravestones of veterans in three different cemeteries in Tampa, Florida where he lives. The owner of a cleaning franchise, Lumish goes by the handle The Good Cemeterian on social media, where he posts photos of the more than 300 headstones he’s cleaned, along with details of the veterans buried there, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Lumish, whose other hobby is photography, was out at a cemetery in 2015 taking photos when he was struck by the state of disrepair of the headstones. They were covered in decades of dirt and grime, and many of the gravesites belonged to veterans.
That didn’t sit right with him.
"They'd been neglected from the time they'd been buried," Lumish told the Times. "Their final resting places were total disasters."
Lumish went home, did some research on how the tombstones are cleaned at Arlington National Cemetery, bought the proper equipment — a soft brush and a biological cleaning solution — and has spent every Sunday since restoring gravestones.
Sometimes it takes 20 minutes, other times it takes three hours.
For each marker Lumish cleans, he also takes time to research who is buried there, and tries to imagine how their families would feel if they could see the graves in the state they’re in.
"I think about their parents, if they were very young,” Lumish told the Times. “I think about their spouses, if they were in World War II and there was no way to communicate the way we can communicate now. I think about a wife at home, not knowing if [her husband is] dead or alive."
Lumish has even taken to providing instructions for other “good cemeterians” who want to help restore the headstones at their local cemeteries.
Though Lumish’s volunteer work has gotten a great deal of media attention recently, for him, it’s all about drawing attention to those buried under the stones he cleans.
"They fought for the freedoms that you and I enjoy today," Lumish told the Times. "If I know that they did these things for my future, my children's future, and I see that they're forgotten, I feel a sense of responsibility to give their family a little bit of light."
Now you can relive the glory days of screaming "fire for effect" before lobbing rounds down range, and you can do it from the comfort of your own backyard, or living room, without having to worry that some random staff sergeant is going to show up and chew you out for your unsat face scruff and Johnny Bravo 'do.
The leader of a Chicago-area street gang has been arrested and charged with attempting to aid the ISIS terrorist group, the Department of Justice said Friday.
Jason Brown, also known as "Abdul Ja'Me," allegedly gave $500 on three separate occasions in 2019 to a confidential informant Brown believed would then wire it to an ISIS fighter engaged in combat in Syria. The purported ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, according to a DoJ news release.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Sen. Rick Scott is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow service members to essentially sue the United States government for medical malpractice if they are injured in the care of military doctors.
The measure has already passed the House and it has been introduced in the Senate, where Scott says he will sign on as a co-sponsor.
"As a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking care of our military members, veterans and their families is my top priority," the Florida Republican said in a statement.