SOURCE: Grass Seed USA

Grass Seed USA

January 26, 2015 11:00 ET

Grass Seed USA Announces 2014 'Operation Home Turf' Winners

Three Veterans Win $500 Lawn Facelifts and Select Three Veteran Focused Non-Profits to Receive Donations

SALEM, OR--(Marketwired - Jan 26, 2015) - Grass Seed USA, a coalition of American grass seed farmers, has named three U.S. veterans as winners of its third annual Operation Home Turf veteran appreciation program. Frank Cherry and William Phinizy, both of Miami, Fla., and Deron Santiny of Lafayette, La., were chosen by a public vote. Servicemen and women were nominated to receive home lawn makeovers through Grass Seed USA's Facebook page, and each of the winners will receive a spring lawn revitalization valued at $500.

"As Operation Home Turf continues into its third year, we're thrilled to have another opportunity to honor and pay respect to deserving veterans like Frank, William and Deron," said Bryan Ostlund, Grass Seed USA executive director. "The men and women of the U.S. armed forces give up their time to serve our country, and the least we can do is provide a lush green lawn that they can be proud of and enjoy with their friends and family."

Additionally, Grass Seed USA will donate $1 for every new like or follow the coalition received during the 2014 Operation Home Turf campaign to a veterans' organization of each winner's choosing.

Frank Cherry - Miami, Fla. - Cherry enlisted in the military in 1980, beginning an impactful 27-year career with the Army. During his time serving, Cherry was stationed at bases across the country and was deployed four times. He was a member of one of the first Army units called to Ground Zero after 9/11. Shortly after, he was tasked to help secure the Canadian and U.S. border, where he monitored and assessed individuals entering the U.S. from Canada. In 2003, Cherry was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served on the frontline of defense for 13 months. After retiring from service in 2005 as a sergeant E-7, Cherry continued working with other veterans by starting Frontline Disciples Street Ministries, a program designed to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) find relief through Christian-based support groups. Since starting Frontline Disciples Street Ministries, Cherry has mentored more than 200 veterans. Cherry was nominated for Operation Home Turf by his wife Tina, who wanted to show her gratitude for the hard work and commitment her husband continues to uphold.

William Phinizy - Miami, Fla. - Phinizy enlisted in the National Guard in 1990, where he completed his Military Occupational Specialties training at Fort Sam Houston located near San Antonio, Texas. Phinizy then spent the next eight years serving as a medic for the North Carolina National Guard. At 39, Phinizy enlisted for active duty in the Army, continuing to train and serve as a combat medic at bases across Louisiana and Kentucky. Phinizy was eventually deployed to Afghanistan and spent 13 months as a frontline medic. While in Afghanistan, he completed hundreds of missions and recorded each mission in hope that he would write a memoir about his experience one day. Phinizy is a decorated veteran and has received several medals and awards for his service, including the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Combat Medical Badge. After retiring from the Army in 2012 as a sergeant E-5, Phinizy returned home to work with other community volunteers to help restore dilapidated areas of his neighborhood.

Deron Santiny - Lafayette, La. - Santiny joined the Navy right after high school in 1988, though he also served with the National Guard and the Army during his time in the military. After serving a 13-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2004, he returned to the U.S. for the next five years of active duty in the Army. As a result of injuries sustained during his time of service, Santiny medically retired from the military in 2010 as a staff sergeant E-6. Santiny received several high honors throughout his extensive military career, including the Purple Heart, a Combat Infantry Badge, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Today, Santiny continues to work with veterans as the commander for the Lafayette chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and is an executive board member of the Veterans Action Association, where he works with lawmakers and military officials to help increase funding for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical clinics throughout southwestern Louisiana.

About Grass Seed USA
Grass Seed USA is a national coalition of grass seed farmers and academic turf specialists with a wealth of experience in studying, growing and harvesting grass and grass seed. The coalition seeks to inform and educate residential and commercial customers about the benefits of grass and best practices for responsibly growing and maintaining healthy turf. For more information, visit or, or follow on Twitter at

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