When a member of the United States military enlists, they cannot be sure that they will still be alive when their time in the service is up. Being deployed overseas is dangerous to even the most seasoned soldier. Sadly, the dangers don’t end when a soldier’s service is up. What a soldier goes through during their time of service and the things that they see stick with them for a while after coming home. PTSD is a very serious issue for soldiers, and without treatment, it can end in the soldier taking their own life. This is why it is so essential that soldiers get the help that they need when they come home.
Cameron James is a 17-year-old boy from Haslet, Texas. He often mowed the lawn at his family’s home. The yard wasn’t too large, and it often took him under an hour. When his parents asked him to mow the lawn, he would often do it as quickly as possible. The sooner he got the lawn mowed, the sooner he could go back to doing things that teenagers loved to do. Recently, he went outside to mow the lawn like he typically did. His 11-year-old brother, Daniel, went out and helped him too. On this particular day, it took him and his brother over four hours to mow the lawn.
The reason that it took the two boys so long to mow the lawn is that they were doing something special. Rather than mowing the lawn the way he typically does, he and his brother turned their front yard into a giant American flag. It was something that the family had talked about doing for several years, but they never got around to it. Cameron decided to do it this year as a tribute to someone special.
PFC Kevin Christian
The reason that Cameron and Daniel decided to turn their front yard into the American flag on this year was that they lost a friend. PFC Kevin Christian was a 21-year-old soldier. In May 2019, while patrolling the Arizona/Mexico border, he took his own life. He was older than Cameron, but the two were friends. Cameron says that he was always a role model for him. When he saw Christian around town, he always thought that he wanted to be like him. What happened to his friend was devastating for Christian, so he wanted to do something to honor him. When Cameron spoke to CNN, he said, “I wanted to make sure he was missed by even the people who didn’t know him.”
Creating the American flag in the front yard was going to be a lot of work. Cameron and his brother planned everything out before they began. To make the stripes on the flag, the boys had to use two different settings on the lawnmower. They had to make sure that the grass for the flag was shorter than the rest of the grass. They also had to make sure that the grass where the stripes were was two different lengths. This would be the only way that the flag would be recognizable. According to the boys, the hardest part was making the 50 stars on the flag. To make the stars, they used a weed eater. Teen spends 4 hours mowing
Shortly after the boy’s completed their job, it garnered a great deal of attention. People were stopping by the house to check out the American flag and to take photos. Soon, the local news caught wind of the story, and they came to the house to interview the whole family.
Cameron’s Mom’s Reaction
When the local news arrived at the James home, the reporter asked Cameron’s mother, Amy, how she felt about her son’s tribute. She responded by saying, “I’m very proud of my son and his thoughtfulness. As the daughter of an Army man, the niece of a Navy man, and the granddaughter of an Air Force man, his memorial made me feel that he was honoring not only Kevin but all of the servicemen stationed at home and abroad.”
When the news station and random people driving by posted photos of Cameron’s amazing lawn art on social media, it quickly went viral. People from all over the country and all over the world were sharing, retweeting, and commenting on the photos. People were amazed by the beautiful tribute that Cameron and Daniel created.
What Cameron did for his friend is absolutely amazing. This young man has a huge heart, and to take that amount of time to create a tribute for his friend is incredible.