WALDWICK, NJ (WCBS 880) – In Waldwick, a lawn mower is the the sound of patriotism.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams In Bergen County

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It’s peculiar to think of a lawn mower as representing allegiance to one’s country, but consider for a moment that the person pushing the mower is doing it for free, for a member of the military deployed in Afghanistan.

While her husband Richard is away, Courtney is holding down the fort back home with three young children, taking over his domestic duties including the lawn and home maintenance.

“It’s so much picking up not only my roles that I do around the house, but now, kind of doing Rich’s stuff as well,” Courtney said. “Ants have been really fun this year to deal with and now that has become my problem.” 

Now, she won’t have to worry about the weeds, mulch, shrubs and fertilizer. Chris James and his landscaping crew are firm believers in the mission of Project EverGreen and they’ve reached out to help.

“[It’s a] huge weight off my shoulders, and for my husband, too because he feels burdened by the fact that I’m left with so much to take care of at home and he wants to ease that as much as possible,” Courtney said.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

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James and his team in the past have provided spring and fall cleanups as well as weekly visits.

“This is a very small part, a very little thing that I feel that we’re doing for a family that’s making bigger sacrifices than my family’s making,” James told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “I get to go home to my wife and kids and grandkids and I feel pretty humbled and I know my employees do as well.”

“I cannot tell you how I feel when I come home from work and the lawn is taken care of and I feel that it looks so nice here on the outside and although you might think it’s a small thing it is a huge thing for me,” says Courtney. “I don’t know how I would be able to handle it with three young kids because I can’t say, ‘You guys stay here. I’m going to go out and mow the lawn.'”

LINK: Project EverGreen

Project EverGreen’s nationwide initiative, GreenCare for Troops, has signed up thousands of military families and numerous green industry professionals and volunteers to assist in the effort.

James says it’s a “thank you” for military families and service members.

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“I think as Americans we all have a responsibility and a little gesture like this on our part, if it can help the families, we’re more than happy to do it,” says James. “There’s a lot of pride for all the families we’ve been fortunate enough to work for. I think the feeling of giving back, of being part of something bigger than ourselves is pretty special to all of us.”