California boy visits Raleigh in nationwide effort to honor veterans

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Preston Sharp travels the country honoring the graves of soldiers.

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Placing a single red carnation in front of a veteran's headstone at Raleigh National Cemetery, Preston Sharp, 12, of Redding, California, says the name of every veteran he traveled across the country to honor.

"A veteran's name not said is a veteran forgotten," Sharp told a group of a couple dozen volunteers who showed up at the cemetery Wednesday to help him.

It didn't take long for them to place a flower at every gravesite, which left an avenue of American flags encircling the cemetery.

"They give their lives for us," said Sharp. "They did so much training. They risked their life just for our country and we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."

The idea to honor veterans came on Veterans Day 2015 when Sharp went to visit the gravesite of his grandfather who served in the Navy, in California.

"I looked around," said Sharp. "I'm like, Mom, it's Veterans Day. Why don't I see any flags out on the veterans' grave sites? My mom told me if you see something wrong to do something about it."

Since then, Sharp has launched a non-profit and traveled the country where he visits cemeteries to leave flowers and flags at every veteran's gravesite.

So far, Sharp has honored some 75,000 veterans, making North Carolina the 15th state he's visited.

His actions even got the attention of President Trump who invited him to be recognized at the State of the Union.