PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A Port St. Lucie war veteran says he has no way of meeting city compliance standards, so a company is living up to its name, and lending a helping hand.
Dan Smith lives down the street from Aubrey Johnson, an 85-year-old former marine. The World War II veteran lives alone, and he insists he doesn't want charity.
"We had about three feet of grass here," explains Smith. "When I first cut his grass, he would not allow me do it for nothing. He had to pay me something."
The grass height was so far over Port St. Lucie's required twelve inches, that Johnson had been notified he was in violation. With his nest egg dwindled away, he couldn't afford to pay for yard care. But on July 4th, he woke up to an unexpected solution.
Ray DaSilva with Garden Angel Landscaping proves the company could have been Johnson's "guardian" angels.
"We surprised him. We showed up this morning. When he saw all the guys with the chainsaw, he was very excited. Tears in his eyes, tears in his eyes," said DaSilva.
Mike Lubeck with Port St. Lucie's code compliance department says he's proud when volunteers lend a helping hand to uphold city regulations.
"None of us want a case to go before a special magistrate," said Lubeck. "We're not in it for the fines, we're in it for compliance."
"There's a lot of senior citizens and senior veterans who are in the same situation," said Johnson, of the tough spot he found himself in.
But with "Garden Angels" looking over him, Johnson won't have far too look.
"We're gonna stay with him. We're gonna make sure the place doesn't get like this again," promised DaSilva.