Bright Spot: Pair restores veterans’ tombstones

Pair restores veterans' tombstones
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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IOWA (WFSB) - An unlikely pair is bringing one cemetery back to life.

In a place so synonymous with the and, Aaron Schultz is just getting started on something new.

“A lot of people think like ‘oh, this person died in 1965 so his headstone should be dirty.’ That’s normal, but there’s a way to clean it off and preserve it to what it was. A really fulfilling thing to do.”

Aaron first unearthed his new hobby in a cemetery in Iowa and shared his before-and-afters with other history buffs like Madonna White. “He posted that on this Facebook page, and I was just fascinated by that. I thought what’s this young kid doing digging up these tombstones. Why is he doing that?”

Aaron just graduated high school. Madonna just retired, but this cross-generational pair now meet regularly to scrape and scrub decades of neglect away, but the hours they spend are what has really made the difference. “We’re gonna work on these veterans’ stones, we’re gonna keep finding them and working at them all summer,” says Madonna. No matter how long it takes. “Yeah, well it’s a good way to spend your time doing a good deed,” said Aaron.

The teen was using his own pay checks from two jobs to buy the necessary supplies, until Madonna came up with a solution in the form of an online fundraiser.