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To polish and preserve, local organizations clean veteran headstones in Bryan

Posted at 3:54 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 15:36:06-04

BRYAN, TEXAS — Many residents in the Bryan- College Station community used their time Saturday morning thinking of others, including veterans and their service.

"It's something that's gotta be done frequently," a volunteer said.

Preserving headstones of veterans one spray and swipe at a time.

"People from WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War 1 and 2 ... we are seeing a little bit of a variety of all of the different wars. It's cool to see all of the history that is here in this community," said Kyle Schumann, a Veteran and Bryan resident.

Schumann, a veteran himself, says what he's doing is something he hopes to receive in return.

"One day, I too, will pass and that means someone will come out and take care of my headstone one day," he added.

Volunteers say seeing the community come together represents what where we live ... is all about.

"Regardless of their viewpoints, backgrounds, race, religion or creed," Schumann said.

"You're reading where they served ... right? WW2 ... and you're keeping it clean," Volunteer Peyton LaBauve said.

A dignifying exercise for Peyton LaBauve who says the BCS community is one of the most military-friendly he's seen and preserving headstones of those who served is special.

"It brings up the concept of dignity. We don't often think about dignity in our every day lives, but we are dignifying the gravestones and we are dignifying the people who served and who rest here," said LaBauve as President of BCS Young Republicans, an organization helping volunteer Saturday.

Residents and local organizations volunteered their time Saturday morning, including Wreaths Across America, who supplied everything needed, an organization dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans.

"One way we do this is to gather usually once a month and polish headstones of veterans here at Bryan City Cemetery. There are like 2,000 veterans here ... We have done this maybe 5 or 6 months now," Jim Matis, a Volunteer with Just Serve said.

To polish and preserve is something Matis says, everyone can do.

"You'd be amazed at how when we put this chemical on, on how that headstone polishes up... There's a special sense of reverence and respect to see that happen," Matis added.