Editor’s Note: Ready to serve

November 8, 2017 -  By

Marisa Palmieri

“I don’t know how you did it when your husband was deployed,” a coworker said to me the other day. His wife was out of town and he was fending for himself at home for the first time with their new baby.

Honestly, the year my husband was deployed to Afghanistan with the Ohio National Guard while I worked full time and had two young kids is mostly a blur. But the short answer to “how I did it” is this: I had a ton of help.

My parents were almost always on call, my sisters and friends provided a lot of support, and I knew every Wednesday evening my mother-in-law and my husband’s siblings would be over to mow the lawn and bring me dinner. It was a huge relief. The truth is, I didn’t “do it.” Many people helped me.

In this issue you’ll read about the many people in the green industry who are helping to relieve the stress placed on the families of deployed and disabled service members through the GreenCare for Troops program, which is part of Project EverGreen.

I’m proud to support this program for a few reasons: I serve on Project EverGreen’s advisory council and on its GreenCare for Troops committee, and I also know from experience what a difference it makes to remove a task from the to-do list of a Blue Star spouse.

Project EverGreen Executive Director Cindy Code has been known to ask, “What if every landscape or lawn care company signed up to help just one military family?”

The response to Cindy’s question is many more families would know that members of the landscape industry appreciate their service, and many more families would be able to enjoy their yards without the burden of caring for them while their loved ones are away.

Since the program’s inception, 11,000 families have been matched with GreenCare for Troops volunteers. There are about 65,000 subscribers to LM, so if even half of you registered to volunteer, we’d triple the program’s reach.

You don’t need to live near a military installation to help. There are National Guard and Reserve soldiers all over the country who may be deployed and who lack the support services of having a base nearby.

In the cover story, Larkin Scott III and Luke Scott have quite a story to share about their family and peers helping them while they were simultaneously deployed with the Virginia National Guard. The brothers and co-owners of LG Scott Landscaping & Tree Service never thought they would be deployed at the same time, but when it happened, they were lucky to have their mom and office manager, Dale Scott, holding down the fort. Their dad, Larkin Scott II, who founded the company and sold it to them in 2008, jumped in to help and their brother, Levi, also pitched in. They offer a few lessons learned from a year away from their company and what they’re doing differently now that they’re home.

Maybe you won’t ever be called away from your company for military duty, but the advice the Scotts share will resonate with anyone looking to step back from the day-to-day duties of running their business.

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Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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