Troops honor fellow service members at Kaneohe cemetery

Soldiers clean the headstones at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery

 UPDATED 10:35 AM HST Jun 12, 2013
Army soldier
KANEOHE, Hawaii -

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the city resting on the top of Kaneohe lie thousands of our country's brave soldiers.

But, their sacrifice is being met with this -- dingy, moldy headstones among the 9,000 burial plots at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

With just three workers and a laundry list of daily duties, the cemetery just can't keep up with the upkeep.

"I can't even begin to think how long it would take for us to do it," said Willie Hirokane, cemetery operations manager.

Fellow soldiers won't stand for it.  So, they're kneeling and hand-cleaning some markers that became unrecognizable.

More than 70 U.S. Army Pacific soldiers from the 45th Sustainment Brigade and the 25th Infantry Division spent all day cleaning graves.

"We just try to do our part the best we can and pay respect to some of the soldiers who have come before us," said Sgt. Kyle LeFlore of the 45th Sustainment Brigade.

It's much needed help for the staff, much deserved respect for the soldiers and their families took notice.

"They were really grateful about it.  They really appreciate what we do and it was nice," said SPC Kayla McLaughlin of the 45th Sustainment Brigade.

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