If your loved one is one of the current 170,000 active-duty personnel in the United States Armed Forces serving outside the county, you likely understand the tremendous sacrifices endured by family members here at home and the anxiety felt by service members who worry about those families. In a unique effort to lessen that worry, Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops connects military families across the nation to complimentary lawn and landscape services and Ryan Lawn & Tree is proud to provide those services in their local areas.
RYAN supports families of these deployed servicemen and women by providing lawn care services for their homes including pruning shrubs, bushes, hedges, aerating or verticutting and seeding lawns, fertilizing and weed control, perimeter pest control and mosquito control.
GreenCare for Troops is active in all 50 states, so RYAN is able to serve active troop families through lawn care and landscaping from its local branches in Tulsa, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and Wichita, Tulsa, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and Wichita.
Providing lawn care services to veterans is especially important to the dozens of veterans who are part of the Ryan Lawn & Tree family of employees. John Payton is the facility manager at Ryan Lawn & Tree’s Kansas City location and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1990 to 2010. His duties included the aeromedical evacuation of injured, as well as terrorism, incident and attack response to identify and eliminate threats to military resources.
“I know the hardships that active military face and the post-service challenges,” Payton said. “The member must drop everything at home and focus on their mission. The anxiety and stress that builds while the family is trying to ‘keep it together’ during the absence are like nothing else. Every family has their routine and when one of the parents must leave, small jobs around the house can really build up on an unprepared family. Support with the ‘honey-do list’ goes a long way in relieving some of this stress so the family members left behind can focus on the important issues and let the other parent be a single-parent for 6 to 12 months.”
Another RYAN veteran, Anthony Crone, has a job as the irrigation department manager in Wichita and also served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000 to 2008 in communications. He likes being able to give back to active-duty military and appreciates that the program is a needs-based service.
“There are a lot of people that need help and they either can’t afford it or don’t know who to go to,” Crone said. “We as a company believe in helping our community and we believe in our brand and our name. We have a lot of people in our company that have the ability to help and this goes right along with our mission statement.”
Both Crone and Payton encourage active military families to register for lawn care services from GreenCare for Troops. Once a family member registers less than a month prior to deployment or during deployment, the program matches the military family up with a service volunteer such as Ryan Lawn & Tree. The military family then contacts their local RYAN branch or another service volunteer to arrange the free services they need. Lawn service continues during the entire length of the service person’s deployment. So far, there are 6000-plus professional lawn, landscape and snow removal [for the sister program — SnowCare for Troops] volunteers in the program and 11,000 military families have registered with the service since 2016. Payton says helping with even small things like lawn care can help ease the stress when the family reunites.
“News reports of troops returning from deployment paint the picture that it is a joyous occasion and life will be back to normal,” Payton said, “however, the reality is quite different, taking months to get back to a life that resembles the pre-deployment family. The experience is very humbling when you realize how much support your family received during the time away.”
Despite the difficult and stressful work, Payton said he was well-trained and prepared to meet the challenges, though not all could.
“Military life is not for most people,” he said. “Unfathomable expectations, unconditional support to your leaders, extended time away from family and everything familiar, marginal pay, and the legal commitment are not in the front of your mind at 18 years old when you are signing your name to serve but you learn to handle these things as you would in any career. I would do it all again because I know that our country and way of life are of value to every American, sometimes we must fight for it.”
Crone agreed that he has no regrets about his service.
“I enjoyed every bit of it,” Crone said. “I only got out of the service due to the place I was with my family. I liked the camaraderie. I was able to meet people from all over the world, see different places — good and bad. I still have a lot of friendships and keep in touch with a lot of those people.”
Payton said he has found that same type of friendship with his colleagues at Ryan Lawn & Tree.
“As a veteran, I feel very well supported by Ryan,” he said. “I don’t believe it is because I am a veteran but because I am someone that is valued and is blessed to be considered part of this family. My veteran status does not and should not play a role in my life here. I know that if I need help, I would find the company and plenty of people ready to provide support!”
If you have a family member actively deployed, find out more about GreenCare for Troops and register for lawn care and snow removal services.
If you’re a veteran and interested in a career with Ryan Lawn & Tree, we encourage you to check our job openings and reach out.