(WGGB/WSHM) -- Gene Theroux may look familiar because Western Mass News has highlighted his amazing community efforts before.

He's a veteran himself who's on a mission to preserve the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ahead of Veterans Day, our Western Mass News Surprise Squad is paying tribute for all he does.

"I gave some, but some gave all. I look upon that Veterans Day is every day," Theroux said.

The Air Force veteran from Westfield is spending his retirement cleaning and fixing monuments in our local cemeteries.

"You see, it's broke on the bottom. I'll be coming back and repairing that. I was just outraged when I saw these old beat up flags that were laying on the ground not taken care of and the shape of the monuments and all that," Theroux noted.

Theroux spends nearly 60 hours a week scrubbing, scraping, and researching to preserve our history.

In the past year, Theroux has restored well over 200 headstones in Westfield and Southwick.

"I discovered a lot of heroes that people are not cognizant of," Theroux said.

Nothing will stop his mission.

The Surprise Squad wanted to help Theroux make Veterans Day, so we provided some supplies to help his cause.

Theroux is also heading to Washington, D.C. with a visit to Arlington and a tour in D.C.

"This is really, really special. Thank you for coming out here this morning and thank you for making this the most memorable Veterans Day and birthday that I could've ever imagined in my wildest imagination," Theroux noted.

If you know someone deserving of a visit from the Surprise Squad, please email us at surprisesquad@westernmassnews.com.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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