|Workers from Knight Solutions landscape a national cemetery in Henrico. - Courtesy Photo|
On Monday Kevin Knight spent his Memorial Day at Winchester National Cemetery. He described the weather as nice and the day as great.
In the morning a group of scouts had laid out American flags at the head of each of the tombstones as part of their service to the community. Families would gather to honor brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. In the evening the flags would be gathered for the next time.
Knight employs those men and women who gather the flags in the evening, most of whom at one time or another served in the military.
His company, Knight Solutions, is gifted with the task of keeping the final resting place of the majority of our nation’s fallen servicemen and women immaculate, working in all aspects of the construction and restoration of the nation’s cemeteries and memorials.
The national cemetery in Winchester is one of the more than a dozen contracts Knight’s company has with the federal government.
Knight Solutions’ projects can be found as far away as Kent, Wash. or as close as Winchester or Arlington.
“We, like all Americans, take pride in honoring our fallen heroes,” said Knight who says that his interaction with the family members of the fallen servicemen and women is usually minimal.
“We try to give them their respect,” said Knight, later explaining that he does get compliments on the work from time to time.
Knight was discharged from the U.S. Army, attended the University of Cincinnati and Norfolk State University and worked for REHAU before starting Knight Solutions in 2009.
His goal was to fill the open space in the market of cemetery contracting work, hiring individuals who have served in the military, especially soldiers who have fought in combat situations.
“It’s a great way for veterans to close the circuit on service and military life in general,” said David Jessurun, an assistant project manager with Knight Solutions.
Taking care of national cemeteries can provide some closure to people who have fought in wars, he explained.
Jessurun said that it is likely for a serviceman or woman who fought in combat to know somebody who has died during their service or as a complication of their service, so each worker has a sense of pride in taking care of the cemetery that might be more powerful than a civilian might have.
For each project the government tells Knight Solutions what they are looking for performance-wise, and the company collaborates throughout the process to make sure they are on the same page as the cemetery, according to Jessurun, who currently serves with the Virginia National Guard 29th Infantry Division.
Earlier this year Knight was honored as the Virginia Small Business Person of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration, grabbing a spot on the Inc. Magazine 5000, a list which compiles the fastest growing small businesses in the country.
Knight Solutions employs more than 100 individuals and has grown ten times what it was just five years ago.
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