Among his beliefs, John Wallace has great respect for the military and serving others.
Wallace was assigned to help Matt Jacobsen and his family following their recent move to Duncanville. The program pairs landscape professionals with military families who have members deployed or are considered totally disabled, helping with lawn care.
“I saw the opportunity to give something to the families whose loved one is deployed fighting for our freedom. It was an easy yes,” Wallace said. “My grandfather retired from the American Red Cross. Respect for those who serve should be a given. My parents showed us how to be charitable, especially for matters of the heart.”
Wallace, 52, was in the ROTC while in college.
Wallace said he worked on the Jacobsens yard for about three months, tending to it once every 10 days or so. The initial visit required about six hours of work, followed by about two hours each subsequent visit. His work included leaf removal, general cleanup and mowing.
“I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had been calling on friends and family, but to have a professional come in and do this was amazing,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen, 39, spent 17 years in the Army, including special operations. He enlisted in the aftermath of 9/11 and served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and parts of Central and South America.
Jacobsen said Wallace’s help not only made for a better looking yard, but also made for a safer one for his three children.
“If the grass is high, it doesn’t take much for a kid to find a critter,” he said.
Jacobsen’s recent deployment, during which Wallace helped, was six months.
“That’s a long time, and it’s hard having that responsibility while a spouse is deployed,” said Ki Matsko, Program Director for GreenCare for Troops and SnowCare for Troops. “People don’t always realize what military families go through when a loved one is deployed.”
GreenCare for Troops was started in 2006. SnowCare for Troops, which helps military families in colder climates, started in 2010. Matsko said both feature a mission to help families, but also to make a positive impact on the planet.
“Our program is dedicated to creating a greener, cooler earth,” she said. “Our program gives people in the green industry a way to give back to these military families. We got the ball rolling, and it’s volunteers like John who make it happen.”