US sailors restore war widow’s backyard

American sailors have volunteered their time to help a war widow restore her backyard as just one of their many good deeds while on a break from official duties in Queensland.

A dozen sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier spent the day working on the garden of 93-year-old Audrey Mead.

Audrey’s late husband, Trevor Mead, served in the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II.

The extra hands have come as a welcomed relief for her daughter, Donna Mead, who has been responsible for garden maintenance since her father died 25 years ago.

“This digging is not something I’m able to do very well. So six months’ work in one morning. Not bad.”

It was all very overwhelming for Audrey, who was flooded with memories of her late husband and was unable to speak directly to the ABC. The event was organised by Legacy, a charity providing services to families suffering after the death of a loved one who served in the Defence Force.

Legacy’s Ben Cox said they were approached by the US consulate who wanted to support south-east Queensland Defence families.

“Audrey would be so proud that the sailors have done the memory of her husband proud by giving her a new backyard,” he said on behalf of the widow.

One of the sailors, Luterrio Lockhart, said it was not just about holidaying in sunny Queensland, but also serving the local community.

“To come and do something like this on the side, on your off time, and know that you’re doing it for a pretty great cause — that’s awesome,” he said.

Since arriving in Brisbane last Sunday, the sailors have visited children at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and played basketball with local school students.

More Stories