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One good deed: Scouts spruce up elderly veteran's lawn

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Posted at 11:16 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 13:20:33-04

Let's be honest — a quick glance at an untidy front yard may make you wonder about the property owner.

"Why can't they just cut the grass?" you might ask.

Well, before you get judgmental, hang on for this lesson about giving and being neighborly.

I received a message from our KRIS 6 Veterans Hotline from a widow and military veteran.

She asked if I could find someone to do yard work. Her property had gotten a bit out of control, and the last lawn guy bailed on her.

I put out a call on the Veterans Roundtable Facebook page, and several people jumped at the chance to help.

But it was the very first response that got my attention: An all-girl Scouts group immediately responded.

"When they were told about this project, everybody was in," said Troop 356 scout leader Shelly Smithwick.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, four girls from that troop, ages 11 to 13, showed up ready to work.

For the next two hours, they took turns mowing, trimming, and sweeping — cleaning up the yard of an elderly military veteran that they'd never even met.

"It feels really great to do something in turn for what they've done for us," said Scout Troop 356 Senior Patrol Leader Abby Smith.

"That meant a lot because she (the veteran) can't really do anything on her own, so we're helping her out in the things that she can't do," said Torri Hyatt, another Troop 356 scout.

I witnessed girl power in action from this group who of young ladies who are not your ordinary girl Scouts.

"We're not selling cookies," chuckled Smithwick. "They are an all-girl scout troop under the umbrella of Boy Scouts of America, so we call it Scouts of America now."

These girls not only picked up a few lawn care skills.

More importantly, they are giving of themselves.

"I think we're doing pretty good even though I'm pretty lousy on the mower," said Hyatt.

To do a good turn is the Scouts motto. What's even more special is when the girls finally got to meet the recipient of their good deed.

"I'm so grateful," said Nadia Hrdlicka, the military veteran said to the girls after meeting them.

Moments later, Hrdlicka found herself in the middle of a group hug with the girls.

"I'm a hugger," she said.

If you have a daughter between the ages of 11 and 17 who would like to join the Boy Scouts of America Troop 356, call (361) 985-9960.

Nueces County has also started a Volunteer Corps for volunteers of all ages. If you want to get involved to help support veterans at various ceremonies and outreach events, please call (361) 888-0820 and ask for Diana Acosta.

More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans.

Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at pat.simon@kristv.com