Our Process

At the Shining Honor Project, our process begins with our valued partners in Oklahoma and Montana. Organizations such as Gatesway Foundation, A New Leaf and Lighthouse Christian Home, each have outstanding reputations for providing vocational job training and job placement for adults with developmental challenges.

We fund the cleaning of veteran’s headstones by adults with developmental challenges.

With the help of the Tulsa Historical Society, we’ve learned the proper way to clean and restore U.S. Military Veteran’s headstones according to the highest possible standards. Our Honor Teams have been professionally trained in proper headstone restoration. We exclusively use the same cleaning products approved by the National Park Service for use at Arlington National Cemetery.

Since beginning in Spring 2017, our Honor Teams have cleaned more than 5,000 headstones in Oklahoma and Montana. We have completed cleaning nearly 400 veteran headstones at Oaklawn and Clinton Oaks Cemeteries in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently, we are working at Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery, the 10th largest cemetery in the nation. There are more than 14,000 veteran headstones in need of cleaning. So far, we’ve already cleaned and polished more than 3,000 headstones at Memorial Park Cemetery for veterans and their spouses.

The Shining Honor Project strives for the safety of all involved. We’ve established policies and guidelines to which we faithfully adhere; including providing liability insurance and Workers Compensation for all of our Honor Team members.

Before

After

Shining Honor Project Code of Conduct

SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE. Each of our Honor Team members is outfitted with all of the necessary equipment and supplies. We ensure they will not work if the temperature is above 92 degrees and sunblock and hats are always provided. During the cooler months, Honor Team members will not work if the temperature is below 50 or the winds are heavy. Honor Team members and their job coaches are also provided with unlimited bottled water throughout their four-hour shift. We use foam kneelers to protect their knees while sitting in front of the headstones. We also provide 10×10 foot tents in order to provide shade during breaks. Each Honor Team member is given their own orange OSHA safety vest emblazoned with an American flag on the chest. Opposite the flag is either “Honor Team Alpha” or “Honor Team Bravo”. These designations signify which group the team member is working with and help contribute to team spirit. “Shining Honor Project” is proudly displayed on the back of each vest and makes our Honor Team members easily identifiable in the field.

RESPECT IS GUARANTEED. We endeavor to ensure that the cemetery’s policies and requests are always met. Tasks in addition to cleaning headstones may be completed at the work site when time permits.

TRAINING NEVER STOPS. Our Honor Teams are trained in the proper cleaning, restoration, and maintenance techniques to preserve the integrity of these precious headstones. Our Honor Team members exclusively use the same cleaners and techniques used at all of our nation’s National Cemeteries and are endorsed by the National Park Service.

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. Transportation to and from the cemeteries, as well as actual on-site supervision, is the responsibility of the Honor Team members’ agencies, family members or caregivers.

TEAM SPIRIT IS CONTAGIOUS. We take fostering team spirit seriously. The Shining Honor Project’s goal is to provide a sense of belonging, instill pride in our country as well as positive reinforcement for a job well done. Being of service means so much to everyone involved in our organization. These projects give each Honor Team member a reason to look forward to their day and to their tomorrows.

Our Shining Honor team received training from the Tulsa Historical Society on the proper cleaning and preservation of headstones

Cleaning tools

Tony cleans a Veteran headstone at Oaklawn
Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tony receives his first paycheck from
Erin Wambold, Executive Director

Honor Teams cleaning headstones at Memorial Park Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma