Day of service honors fallen North Texas soldier

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 5 at 11:13 PM

RICHARDSON — It's the fight against multiple sclerosis that keeps Jeanette Smith from giving her home the attention it needs.

"I really can't maintain the house," Smith said. "I'm not even able to vacuum the house."

But help is on the way.

More than 400 volunteers will be cleaning, landscaping, painting and fixing more than 30 homes in the Richardson area — including Smith's — on September 22.

Footwasher Ministries, in a partnership with the City of Richardson, "adopted" several city blocks that are in need of repair. The group also plans to help out the YMCA in Richardson.

Volunteers and donations are still needed.

The day of service will be in memory of fallen soldier Lt. Peter Burks. Burks died fighting in Iraq in 2007.

"Pete was always a guy who was willing to go out and help you, willing to pick up the phone and say, 'I'm here,' and that's what this event is about," said Burks' friend Adam Kanneman.

For Kanneman and his friends, Burks' service is their motivation.

"Pete is one of those guys you will never forget," Kanneman said. "It honors his family. It honors him."

The group plans to do a lot of work at Jeanette Smith's home. She feels blessed, and she knows the work will lift her spirits.

"They are going to paint my house, which is overdue," she said. "Its just helps me feel better."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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