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Service & Sacrifice: Veteran Caretakers

“Whether they put 20 days in or 20 years… they're all heroes. They all should be remembered.” -- A veteran caretaker at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Two men who care for the graves at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Governor John Sevier Highway in Knox County have direct ties to every military veteran buried in that hallowed ground.

“To me, it's just an extension of my military service. I'm still working for veterans still taking care of soldiers for taking care of their families,” said caretaker Michael Mumley who spent more than two decades in Army.

“It's a real honor for me to help the veterans and their spouses (and) lay them to rest,” said Timothy Hunt who served four years in the US Air Force.

Credit: John Becker
Timothy Hunt is a veteran of the Air Force and now serves as a caretaker at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Governor John Sevier Highway

Both men are part of a team devoted to ensuring the grounds of that veteran cemetery reflect the discipline, order, and respect that are among the pillars of military service.

“They want to be somewhere that everything is perfect, and everything is nice and squared away,” said Mumley about the wishes of his fellow veterans and their final resting place.  The caretakers can set up to 15 headstones in one day and help out with another six burials.

“Sometimes it's hard, but it is very rewarding,” said Hunt.

Here is the link to the pre-registration form for fee burials for veterans and their spouses.

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