#WyoStrong: Local family dedicates time to care for Veteran headstones

(Riverton, WY) – Darlene Keldsen along with her husband David Sharon, daughter Lilly Keldsen, and granddaughter Effie Marshall regularly spend time maintaining the flat headstones of servicemembers at Riverton’s Mountain View Cemetery.

They started this mission of clearing the grass and dirt away two years ago making the headstones visible as a way to honor the local Veterans.

With the permission to clean the military headstones, the four work section by section and take great care to preserve the integrity of the plaque. This includes the sites of temporary headstones that get pushed down for mowing.

“My Dad was a WWII vet and my brother is a Vietnam vet,” Darlene shared with County 10.“I have many family members that are or have served in the military and I feel they should all be honored for what they did.

“We started photographing the cemetery for ancestry reasons and I would stop and clean them because I just could not walk past them. There were so many buried markers.”

Some of the headstones they have cleaned date back to those who served in the 1898 Spanish-American War. They have also cleaned the headstones of Veterans with Purple Hearts and Prisoners of War.

“I know it is just a cemetery to most but in it lies our heritage our family members, our history,” Darlene said.

Below are some before and after photos.

Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?