Deployed solider returns home, meets community members who cleaned his yard

CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) -- Two Clinton men once strangers are now developing a friendship. We first brought you the story of a Clinton National Guard solider who got a notice from the city to clean up his yard and his community stepped in to help. Well, that solider Zachary Hines is now home.

Travis Winter and Zachary Hines were once strangers, but you wouldn't have guessed that. Hope and Shane Ralston introduced the two to each other recently, but let's start with how it all began.

A simple act of mowing the lawn is how their story started. Back in August, the City of Clinton put a notice on Hines’ door notifying him to clean his yard, but the problem was Hines was deployed overseas to Kuwait and Iraq since last September.

“I’m guessing the person I entrusted to take care of my house got sidetracked, stuff happens,” said Zachary Hines, National Guard Soldier.

So his neighbor, Hope, reached out to him and told him not to worry about it. She went on Facebook and many recommended Travis and his lawn service to do the work. So, they got it done. Hines says he was overwhelmed by their support.

“Thank you so much, I’ve very grateful, I got to make it up to you somehow,” said Hines.

To thank them, Hines also had his own surprise.

“He had a bottle of Fireball in one hand and a bottle of Malibu in the other hand and he's like here you go, thanks neighbors,” said Shane Ralston, a neighbor of Zachary Hines.

“I was quite surprised, they brought him up to where I was working and introduced him,” said Travis Winter, owner of A Cut Above Lawn service. “It was neat to be able to finally meet him and know that he was back in town,”

A simple gesture that went a long way and is now developing a friendship between people who were once strangers.

“It made me feel really grateful, that I’m living in a community where people still care about good folk,” said Hines.

Hine’s neighbors have also rallied together and are now getting a flagpole installed in his front yard.