Company provides landscaping facelift for Armed Forces Retirement Home

It was a perfect day to work outside and get hands dirty for several hundred landscapers who stopped by at what is commonly referred to as D.C.'s Old Soldier's Home. FOX 5's Bob Barnard stopped by to see what it was all about.

- It was a different kind of all hands on deck here on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in the District. It is also home to President Lincoln's Cottage.

"This whole back area provides kind of a relaxation area for our residents,” said Steve McManus, chief operating officer of the government-run retirement and nursing care community. “They come back here just to sit. It's quiet.”

Air Force veteran Kenneth Hall served two years in the Korean War. He is one of more than 400 veterans living in the high-rise buildings here.

"It's not perfect, but nothing is,” he told us.

Another resident here is Virginia Sicotte. She is 94 years young and a veteran of World War II.

"I have no complaints,” she said. “Let's put it that way."

But here on Friday, about 150 employees of Maryland-based Ruppert Landscape enjoyed what they called their “Field Day.”

"It's a charity event we're doing,” said Jalyssa Martinez, an employee of the landscaping service. “We do it once a year. We love to help out in the community. It's one of our Ruppert values, so this is definitely an awesome experience to be here with everybody today."

They have come from as far away as Georgia and Pennsylvania to plant about $150,000 worth of landscaping.

The man who founded the Ruppert Landscape said he got his start cutting lawns in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He said he makes these field days fun day for his crews.

"We're competing with each other,” Craig Ruppert. “There are 19 teams here. We're trying to get better at what we do every day, so we're tree planting, we're shrub planting, we're identifying trees, we're operating equipment -- all in an effort to sharpen our skills and learn from each other."

While making it extra nice for the people who live here.

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