Franklin Davis has cancer and diabetes, and is kicked out of the Washington, D.C., homeless shelter where he stays at 8 a.m. each morning.
This week, the Vietnam veteran has been heading to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial park, cleaning up the trash that has accumulated during the ongoing government shutdown. The homeless veteran gained some viral fame this week after CNN published a picture of him cleaning the park on a cold and wintry day. The picture was shared on Reddit and reached the top of the front page, attracting plenty of praise for the quiet sacrifices from Davis.
Davis was spotted by photographer Stephen Voss, who saw the veteran picking up garbage and sweeping away leaves around the memorial. Davis said he wanted to honor those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
"He told me he knew some of the people whose names are on the wall who lost their lives in Vietnam, and I thought it was a really remarkable thing that he chose to do this," Voss said. "Someone who has very little has chosen to do something that the U.S. government currently can't do, which is maintain these memorials and keep them in good shape."
Davis is one of many Americans who have decided to pitch in during the ongoing government shutdown, including many who have gone to national parks overflowing with garbage and human waste to help clean up.