Good News Thursday: Boy with cancer becomes FBI agent for a day, Civil War veteran receives headstone in time for Juneteenth

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Boy with cancer becomes FBI agent for a day

Drew Patchin joins the FBI in Missouri for a day. Patchin was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, and the FBI helped contribute to making good memories before his operation. (KMOV, CNN)

A 10-year-old boy became the newest special agent at an FBI field office in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 2019, doctors diagnosed Drew Patchin with a supposedly inoperable form of brain cancer. The Patchin family found a surgeon in Texas who will operate on Drew, and in the meantime, they are trying to make memories with Drew and his younger brother Tyler, including their adventure with the FBI.

The Patchin brothers were junior special agents for a day and donned full gear to help the FBI agents. They helped track down a thief who resembled the Hamburglar and recovered a stolen item. The FBI also gifted the Patchin family with challenge coins collected from law enforcement and military agencies across the country.

“The things people are doing for Drew and Tyler and our family means so much to us. We get to look at the positive side of what happens when someone gets cancer,” Patchin’s mother said.

To finish the day, the boys got to eat two plates of chocolate chip cookies.

Civil War veteran’s grave marked with military headstone before Juneteenth

Veteran Alfred Griffin’s headstone stands in a Long Island Cemetery. Griffin was buried in the cemetery in 1897, but his gravesite went unmarked for 126 years. (News 12 Long Island, Military Times, Anti-Slavery Record, CNN)

Black Civil War veteran Alfred Griffin’s grave has been appropriately marked for his military service 126 years after his burial.

Griffin fought for the Union as part of the Navy during the Civil War, and served on five different ships. He also achieved the rank of Landsman and was known as a master bricklayer. To remember his service to the nation and his community, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs paid for and delivered the military headstone to be dedicated in time for Juneteenth.

Griffin’s first name was unknown to cemetery trustees for decades, which is part of why he did not have a headstone and was buried without military honors. Recently, a local historian tracked down Griffin’s veteran pension document, which included his full name.

Griffin was self-emancipated and fought off bloodhounds while escaping from slavery.

“He symbolizes service to the nation. He symbolizes hope because he fought his way out of slavery. Now he has his full name on a stone so he won’t be forgotten,” George Munkenbeck, member of the Society of Grand Army of the Republic, said.

Griffin is buried in Long Island, New York.

Goats used to clean local park

Goats graze at a park in Kansas City, Missouri. Goats on the Go JoCo is a company that provides goats to clean up sections of land. (CNN, KCTV)

A park in Kansas City, Missouri used goats to clean the land rather than human workers weeding by hand. The company Goats on the Go JoCo has partnered with the city for three years to bring in goats to Lexena Parks.

According to Parks Superintendent Danny Huntsinger, the goats are half the cost of hiring human laborers. The goats also help the environment.

“They clean up poison ivy, they clean up invasive Japanese honeysuckle, they clean up overgrown vegetation, they leave behind a site that’s cleaner, easier to see, easier to walk through,” Katherine Kelly, owner of Goats on the Go JoCo said.

Kelly brings the goats to the park in a trailer, and sets up fences so the goats are protected and do not escape. After they graze down a section of land, Kelly puts them back in the trailer while she rearranges the fences and then sets them loose again.

The goats have become “local celebrities” as they work to restore the land, according to Kelly. Goats on the Go JoCo rents out goats to properties across the country.

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