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For Navy Veteran, Landscaping is Another Way to Serve

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When you plant and groom with pride, you often grow prestige. Brad Winemiller’s federal-contract work at sites such as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., is proof for his Wilmington landscape company, Greenleaf Services Inc., a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business.

“When you walk through any of the gates [of Arlington], if you’re not touched somehow …” Winemiller says. “You’re in the company of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Greenleaf began maintaining 578-acre Arlington in 2011. Greenleaf won a five-year contract in 2014, and its reach now includes the former U.S. Navy Annex and the U.S. Air Force Memorial—another 600 acres of responsibility. “If you’re good at it, that’s it, and we’re pretty good at it,” Winemiller says.

Winemiller and Greenleaf were named Delaware Small Business Person of the Year for 2015 and received an additional award at the White House during National Small Business Week last May.

Winemiller was discharged from the U.S. Navy after an accident aboard the USS Kity Hawk in 1988. He started Greenleaf to maintain residential areas. Greenleaf mainly tended local apartment complexes and shopping malls until 2008. Since then it has handled federal jobs almost exclusively. They include grounds of the Wilmington VA Medical Center in Elsmere and the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, where Greenleaf has cleaned and aligned more than 10,300 flat markers and renovated the grounds. 

It also maintains national cemeteries from Maryland to Maine, west to Ohio. In Washington, D.C., Greenleaf provides ground services at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery. 

“We’ve built this niche and branched out,” says Winemiller, who also hires fellow veterans.

At Arlington, where stepson James Sapson is site director, duties are both basic and monumental—mowing 70 cemetery sections and trimming 400,000 headstones. 

Says Winemiller, “I feel like I’m serving still.”

Brad Winemiller owns Greenleaf
Services, Inc. (Photo by Jim Coarse)