TRACY (CBS13) – A group of friends and strangers is giving back to those who gave their lives for the country.

Flags wave and flowers dot the green grass of the Tracy Public Cemetery in a section called Little Arlington.

However, this isn’t what it looked like a few weeks ago.

“It was pretty bare. I said, ‘that’s their veterans section?’ ” said Michelle Light.

The forgotten fallen are suddenly getting attention they haven’t seen in decades.

Jenese Borges-Soto visits her murdered brother’s grave every week, and she noticed the veteran laid to rest right next to him.

“He hasn’t had flowers in the 10 months or 9 months I’ve been coming here,” said Borges-Soto.

Then an idea came, a call for donations.

“A couple days later I put a post on Facebook,” said Light.

“Then I put it on my wall, my mom put it on hers, and my daughter and friends, and it just kind of escalated from there,” said Borges-Soto.

It’s escalated to this.

For the past few weeks, up to $400 in donations are paying for a small token of respect.

“I think some of the vases haven’t been pulled in 40 or 50 years,” said Borges-Soto.

Each grave can take minutes of work to clean up and remove a vase.

After years of neglect, it’s a small price to pay for the fallen but no longer forgotten.

“If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have our freedom,” said Borges-Soto.


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