Carpet cleaner honors vets, scrubs grave markers

Posted: 6:14 PM, Sep 09, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-09 18:14:22-04

As a self-employed carpet cleaner, Andrew Lumish gets only one day off a week.

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And on most of those Sundays, he uses his cleaning skills to honor veterans and their families -  anonymously.

Until now.

"The tombstones themselves are typically in poor condition" explains Lumish as he unloads cleaning supplies from his work van at the Lutz Cemetery in Lutz, Fla.

On this Sunday, Lumish has identified three grave markers, so dirty, the inscription can barely be read.

"It's something that I feel I should do to give them the proper respect for fighting for our country. And they may not have any family still living," he said.

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Lumish has done research to find products that will clean limestone, slate, marble and granite without damaging the stone. 

He's a history buff who researches the lost veterans who served in conflicts dating back to the Civil War.

"These aren't just stones sitting in a cemetery in Florida," Lumish said. "These are real people and I think about their lives."

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In the two and half years Lumish has been visiting cemeteries around the Tampa Bay Area, he's never been chased away.

"I may be trespassing right, but it's a good kind of trespassing.  And I'll take that all day," he said.


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