(FOX NEWS) -- A man who set out to mow lawns for veterans in all 50 states finally achieved his goal, with a little help from Delta Air Lines.
Rodney Smith Jr. provides free lawn mowing services for the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans. He recently went on a tour of 50 states, mowing lawns across the way and making sure to help out veterans in every state he came to. Starting in Alabama, Smith drove most of the way, but after mowing in 48 states, he realized that he had a problem.
Fortunately, Delta Air Lines stepped in to help Smith complete his “Thank You For Your Service” tour, Yahoo Lifestyle reports. On June 8th, Smith posted to Twitter that Delta had offered to cover his trips to Alaska and Hawaii, making it possible for Smith to complete his mission.
I would like to announce that @Delta Airlines has reached out & they said they would like to cover my entire trip to my last two states, Alaska and Hawaii so I can finish off my 50 state Thank You For Your Service for our veterans. Thank you @Delta !— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 9, 2019
Smith stopped in Louisville in October 2018, and told WDRB about the "50 Yard Challenge" to any kid in the world who will accept it. The goal is for each kid to commit to mowing 50 laws for free, for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans in their community.
"They’ll make a sign saying, ‘I accept the 50 yard challenge,’" Smith said. "In return, we send them their white 'Raising Men Lawn Care Service' T-shirt, along with shades and ear protection. Once they mow 50, we fly to wherever they are, we do lawns with them, and we also give them a brand new mower, a weed eater and blower.”
Smith told Fox News that now that he's done all 50 states, he's got even bigger plans. "Planning my "7 Continents 7 lawns" tour, which I was supposed to do this summer, but decided to do the Veterans tour," he said. "I have a few other mowing projects I am working on, but finalizing them. But my next big one will be mowing on all 7 continents for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans."
Smith began his lawn mowing journey back on July 25, 2015, when he was driving in Alabama and saw an elderly struggling to mow his lawn. After pulling over and offering to help, Smith decided that he had found his calling.
This is your captain speaking. Off to my last two states. First up state 49, Anchorage, Alaska. It's a 7 hr direct flight. I decided to fly myself . Can't wait to mow for our veterans there. Thank you Delta for the keys to the plane ! pic.twitter.com/kpB9bkwiLI— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 10, 2019
He started “Raising Men Lawn Care Service,” which provides lawn mowing services to those in need. Smith began traveling the country to spread his message. This year, Smith decided that it was time to finally make it to every state, helping out veterans along the way (and also many other lawns that needed some help).
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mrs. Rachel's in Anchorage. She & her husband who passed both served. She was a nurse in the U.S Air Force & he was a green Beret in the U.S Army . They actually met on her first day. They have 3 kids. We thank you both for your service ! pic.twitter.com/MjBOwrPuot— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 11, 2019
After his story gained attention on social media, Smith became a viral hit. So when he needed help, Delta was happy to step in. In a statement obtained by Fox News, a spokesperson for the airline said, “Delta has long been committed to supporting the military and serving communities in which we live and work. We were touched by Rodney’s mission to serve those who have served and happy to support him on the final leg of his journey.”
First, Smith was flown to Anchorage, Alaska, where he mowed three lawns for veterans. By Wednesday, he was checked into a hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii, ready to get mowing.
After making it to all 50 states, Smith re-shared his original post on social media, with a new message saying, “This was the post that started it all. Even before this even happened I remember asking God to use me as his vessel. He didn't give me an answer the day that I asked him, not a month later, not even a year later. It happened a few years later and this would be that day.”
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