Photo Information

(From left) Lance Cpl. Jonathan S. Blankenship, native of Nashville, Tenn., Cpl. Nathan R. Maxwell, native of Jefferson City, Mo., and Ryan R. Harper, native of St. Louis, Mo., all with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, clear roots of a tree in preparation for extracting it from the ground at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass., May 6, 2010. Marines with 3rd Bn., 24th Reg., are helping the Bostonian community during Marine Week to help extract invasive plants and trees from Franklin Park.

Photo by Cpl. Alicia R. Giron

Marines lend a hand to help clear invasive plants in Franklin Park

6 May 2010 | Cpl. Alicia R. Giron

Twelve Marines with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Smyrna, Tenn., and St. Louis, Mo., – based, helped the Bostonian community by clearing invasive trees and plants at Franklin Park, in Boston, Mass., May 6, 2010.

Marines from Company I, 3rd Bn., 24th Reg., arrived to Boston, May 1, 2010, for Marine Week to increase public awareness of the Marine Corps’ value to our nation’s defense and to preserve and mature the Corps’ relationship with the American people.

While Marines from Tennessee were giving a helping hand to homeless Veterans, May 3, 2010, they learned that there hometown was hit by a weekend storm. After hearing the news, they immediately called home to ensure family members were safe.

“Some of the guys were talking about how Nashville was flooded, and as soon as I found out, I called home to make sure everyone was okay,” said Lance Cpl. Kristopher M. Kirkpatrick, an infantryman with 3rd Bn., 24th Marines, and native of Clarksville, Tenn. “As far as I know, my sister was the only family member affected by the flood.”

Kirkpatrick said his sister lives right by the river, and she had water up to her front porch, as he was talking to her on the phone. City officials blocked off her area, and he said the rain continued to worsen. Kirkpatrick said as he was leaving Clarksville to travel to Boston it was slightly raining, but he no idea the fallen rain would later flood his hometown. 

The storm caused trees to break and fall on Kirkpatrick’s fence around his newly-bought home. He said once Marine Week is over, he will head back home, and fix his fence and other damage the storm may have caused.

“Being out here every day in Boston helps us see why it’s important to give back to the people,” said Kirkpatrick.

“They really only get to see what’s on the news, and being out here in person shows that we do more than deploy to Iraq.” 

Although his family is need of a helping hand, Kirkpatrick said he knows his family is safe, and he is happy to help the people of Boston.

“We spent the day pulling trees and roots from the ground,” said Cpl. Nathan R. Maxwell, a radio operator with 3rd Bn., 24th Marines, and native of Jefferson City, Mo. “It’s a lot of work, but I know we are helping out the local community.”

At one point, there were five Marines trying to pull out one tree, said Maxwell. Marines were given saws and weed wrenches to help pull the plants from the ground by the root. Maxwell said some of the roots were so far into the ground, that they had to use a saw and cut roots before pulling out the tree.

“I don’t think there is any way we can get this much work done in one day,” said Michael Watts, the Youth Coordinator with Franklin Park Coalition.  “It would have taken a lot more time and more volunteers but because we have the Marines here … they work nonstop, very hard, consistently, and they understand why we are doing this work. We definitely appreciate the work the Marines are doing.”

Marine Corps News

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps