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Cleanup team performs thankless jobs in garrison

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Mowing lawns, maintaining cemeteries important

By LYNSIE DICKERSON

Gold Standard Staff Writer

lynsie.m.dickerson.ctr@mail.mil

The lawns are mowed, the trash is picked up, the cemeteries are tidy, but this isn’t done by magic; it’s done by the hard work of a group of Soldiers in the Post Cleanup Unit.

“You look at the post and it’s clean, but you don’t know the people behind it doing the job,” said Capt. Robert Ali, Fort Knox’s U.S. Army Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment commander. “I think it’s really a thankless job.”

The PCU is made up of eight Soldiers, many of whom were previously members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Ali said. Their tasks include mowing lawns at the post entrance gates and the garrison headquarters, picking up trash and fallen tree limbs, cleaning up cemeteries and other maintenance work.

“We try to keep Fort Knox looking as pretty as it should,” said Sgt. Thomas Kirch, PCU noncommissioned officer in charge.

Spc. Pedro Gonzalez, a member of the PCU, said he enjoys the work he does.

“(I like) making the post look nice, making sure the people who come here like it,” Gonzalez said.

Like any other job, this one comes with difficulties as well.

Spc. Michael Gutierrez of the PCU said hardest parts of the job include working when the weather is hot—the Soldiers wear their uniforms while working--and when not all team members are available to help at a given time.

Most people don’t join the Army to clean up post, and the job can be a humbling one; one that other people may not pay much attention to, Kirch said.

Ali added that he wants people to be appreciative of the work these Soldiers do.

“The Soldiers work hard,” Ali said. “They really take pride in their job.”

“That’s what I take pride in, getting things done,” Gutierrez said. “Getting the appreciation makes it worth the while.”