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Private First Class Kahlan Sword, a traffic management specialist with Company B., Headquarters Battalion, works on the front yard of two local women Saturday morning. The sisters were overjoyed to have Marines from the Combat Center come out and help them with the overdue yard work.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Marines help local community residents

2 Jul 2010 | Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Early Saturday morning, nine Combat Center Marines armed with rakes and trash bags volunteered their time to help a hospitalized widow and her sister with some long overdue yard work.

The Marines raked up more than 25 bags of weeds during four hours.

“I was an Eagle Scout in school, and that is one of the creeds I said daily,” said Pfc. Mathew Ripley. “Do a good turn daily. I just love helping people anyway.”

Helen Bliss was home for most of the volunteer work and overjoyed to have the service members helping them out.

Bliss said what the Marines did was fantastic. She was heading out to the hospital that morning to visit her sister, when she noticed the Marines already hard at work.

The Marines arrived around 7 a.m. and were getting close to the halfway mark at around 8:30 a.m.

Private First Class Kahlan Sword, a traffic management specialist with Company B., Headquarters Battalion, said he expected the job to take a large part of the day. But because of the productivity and the number of volunteers who showed up with rakes in hand, the workers were shaking the dirt off their clothes and heading home by 11 a.m.

As the Marines readied to head out with their vehicles full of trash bags, Bliss came out, thanked them and shared the conversation she’d had with her sister at the hospital.

Bliss said when she told her sister the Marines were at the house and cleaning, her sister said, “They came today” before shedding tears of joy. “If I ever get out of this hospital, I might be able to see my yard looking decent one more time.”

The sweaty Marines then headed out, comfortable in their exhaustion, knowing they did something meaningful for the two ladies, and their Saturday was well spent.


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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms