Veterans’ graves at Fort Myers Cemetery fall to neglect, abandonment

FORT MYERS, Fla. Long after completing their service, Southwest Florida veterans answered another call to serve on Saturday at the Fort Myers Cemetery.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars raised the American flag on a pole that hasn’t flown Old Glory in over a year in the Oak Ridge section of the cemetery.

“That’s something we all have in common,” VFW District 13 commander Richard Monroe said. “We’re all brothers, we’re all sisters and that flag means everything to us.”

But the flag is only a small part of the problem.

Dead grass and dirt also surround the neglected headstones of 30 veterans.

“There’s cracked grave sites,” Monroe said. “They have a lot of stuff in a lot of disarray out here.”

Leaders of local veterans groups plan to lobby the city to restore the grass, as well as repair and straighten the vaults and headstones.

“We fought for each other and continue to do so,” Monroe said. “This is just another fight that we’re going to win.”

WINK News anchor Amanda Hall streamed the raising of the flag on Facebook:

Reporter:Amanda Hall