By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – Caring for the graves of fallen soldiers, veterans and their spouses buried at Corinth National Cemetery rain or shine has earned the crew national recognition.
Site Supervisor Rickie Brown, and his staff of three team members – Angel Rodriguez, Britt Barnett and Phillip Burt – were recognized for their outstanding work in maintaining the grounds there.
Officials with Worrell Contracting Co., which provides caretaking services at six national cemeteries, were in Corinth on Dec. 18, to present a statue to the team as 2012 Crew of the Year and to Brown as 2012 Employee of the Year.
“I feel the crew deserves to have this award because of the hard work they do, in the winter cold, rain, heat of summer, keeping everything looking as it should,” Brown said.
Brown was selected for his recognition “based on his leadership qualities, work ethic, diligence, dependability and honesty,” said the citation that accompanied the award.
Other cemeteries where Worrell is responsible for ground maintenance include Memphis, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., Jacksonville, Fla., Mobile, Ala., and Staunton, Va. Owner Adrian Worrell is a service disabled veteran, and his business is based in Goldsboro, N.C.
Brown assures that the crew meets a set of rigorous standards as they trim grass around each headstone, keep grass cut throughout the property and outside the cemetery walls, keep leaves picked up and headstones clean.
When visitors enter the property for a funeral, to stop at a gravesite or for a special holiday observance everything must be in tip-top shape.
“Tour buses come through from everywhere,” Brown said. “We’re the only national cemetery here in north Mississippi and we have people buried from Tennessee, Alabama, Memphis and other surrounding areas. Sometimes we have three burials in a day. We get cards of thanks from families telling us how pleased they are at the way we’re taking care of their loved ones, and that is very satisfying.”