RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh National Cemetery has dealt with flooding issues for years.

The site sits on a slope, and contractors say improper drainage has caused water to pool in one corner after heavy rain. Now, a Navy veteran contractor is leading renovation to install drainage.

The cemetery has graves dating back to the Civil War. For contractor Greg Sallee, this project is a way to give back to generations of those who served the country. 

“The people that are here. And this goes back 150 years. They all serve this country and defended the freedom, the freedoms that we enjoy today. And so for that reason, it’s extra special. We do a lot of work, a lot of private work, but this is special,” said Sallee.

The Raleigh National Cemetery is one of North Carolina’s four veteran cemeteries. Many involved in the project are either veterans themselves or come from military families. 

“It’s very special to me as well because of my daughter serving and family members,” said Mitch Ballock.

The project has also been an opportunity for the workers to learn more about North Carolina’s military history. Sallee and his workers stood in awe around the grave of one Medal of Honor recipient. They also reflected on what military service means to them. 

“To be in an environment and experience that every day in here, you know, the family members mourning. It’s just been breathtaking,” said John Lang.

Contractors say they’re set to finish the storm drain by around Thanksgiving.