Man mowing lawns for a veteran in each state in the U.S. stops in Indy

Rodney Smith Jr. mows the lawn of a veteran on the west side of Indianapolis. (WTHR Photo/Anna Carrera)
Mowing for Veterans
Mission to mow

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – A man from Alabama is on a road-trip to show appreciation to dozens of veterans across the country. His latest stop was on the west side of Indianapolis, at the home of Donald Bowman.

Rodney Smith Jr. says his mission won't be over until he's helped a veteran in every state and he's doing it all in one month!

"My way of giving back is with a lawn mower, so I'm mowing lawns for veterans," said Smith, who lives in Huntsville.

Smith didn't serve his country by joining the military, but now he's doing his own kind of service with his trusty partner, a lawnmower he nicknamed G.I. Moe.

He started at 8 a.m. Monday and he has the process down to a science.

"It's been a beautiful experience to meet the different type of veterans," said Smith. "Yesterday I met my first World War II veteran and to hear his stories is pretty amazing."

Smith met up with that veteran in Illinois. Before that, he was in Wisconsin. Day by day, he's making his way across the U.S.

On Monday, he plans to go from Indianapolis to Louisville before ending up in West Virginia.

"It's like service to your country," said Donald Bowman, who is a veteran. "I appreciate that most of all because I did it."

At each stop, Smith gives the veteran a shirt and a note to show his appreciation. Then he asks them to sign his lawn mower.

Smith's hope is to to encourage more people to give back to those who have already given so much.

"People should step up and do more for veterans," said Smith. "If you see them paying for their gas, pay for their gas. They're buying food, pay for their food. Show them appreciation while they're here."

Along the way, Smith is also encouraging people to take on the 50 Yard Challenge, which is to mow yards for 50 people where ever you live.

You can find out more about it and follow along with his journey by visiting his Facebook page here or his website here.