Combat veterans group helps landscape home of former Marine

May 4—MILTON — A group of 12, including combat veterans and other volunteers, came together Friday morning and helped with a major landscaping makeover of Milton residents Carol and John Parkinson's home on Broadway Street.

John Parkinson is a Marine veteran, who served in the 1950s, shortly after the end of the Korean conflict.

"I would have gone into combat, but the war ended first," he said.

The Parkinsons' home was built 23 years ago and every five years needs landscaping upgrades, Carol Parkinson said.

"This is my dream house," said John, who has a visual impairment. "I've been unable to do the things around the house I used to do. This help, it's welcome and great."

Carol said she wanted to remove at least three trees, trim bushes and work on other shrubs that have overgrown in front of their window, making it dark inside.

"These improvements were things I just couldn't any longer do by myself, so I called a neighbor, Mark Pfleegor, for advice and a landscaping plan," Carol said.

Pfleegor is the owner of Pro-Touch Landscaping and vice president of the local chapter of Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, whose focus and mission is Vets Helping Vets.

Pfleegor also likes to hire Vietnam veterans for his landscaping company. He thought his club members and some employees at his company might be able to help out another veteran in need.

"The Parkinsons have been my neighbor for 24 years and they asked me for an estimate on some major landscaping around their house," Pfleegor said. "But after a time, and talking to our club president, I realized that helping John Parkinson is exactly what our organization does. They are perfect candidates for help. I told Carol and John that we'll take care of this for them. We'll do it for free."

By 9 a.m. Friday, pickup trucks, vans and other vehicles arrived at the Parkinsons' and the volunteers began working.

"As a company, every year we like to help out someone in need," added Kristin Pfleegor, Mark's wife, who joined in on doing some of the landscaping.

This gesture "was a total surprise," Carol said. "I was flabbergasted. It made me cry. I've never had anyone do something like this for nothing. These things needed to be done for when we're gone and the kids want to sell the house."