At the age of 64, after 30 years of service, Don was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015. He began treatment immediately and started his fight. The radiation treatments took a toll on his body, but his resolve remained. As his treatments struggled to produce positive results, I found myself looking for a way to show him how much he meant to me and I came up with the tribute plaque. Over the next 8 months, every second I was not at work or spending time with him was spent in my shop creating this. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when the doctors found that he had developed melanoma. He found peace shortly thereafter.
Our family was overcome by a somber sense of serenity. It hurt to know he was gone but we were blessed to know he was no longer in pain. At this point, I realized that the plaque had gained a new meaning to me. It was a way for all of us to remember him and how he lived, to preserve his name and legacy. I finished it just in time to display it during his service where we celebrated him and the impact that he had on all of us. I miss him every day, but I'm proud to see how he lives on through our family and friends. Every time I look at his plaque, I remember a man who dedicated his life to his family and community. I know this plaque will help preserve this legacy long after I’m gone.
Until we meet again, Don.
After seeing the impact the first plaque had on our family, we realized that this could be something that would help a lot of families in similar situations. We created Service Tribute to make this dream a reality. Because of Don, we have been moved to help families across the country remember the heroes in their lives. It is an amazing thing to be a part of it and I know it would make Don proud.
Now, more than ever, it is important to honor the heroes in our lives. It seems all too often that the service and sacrifice of our country’s finest goes unnoticed and forgotten. Keeping love and respect as our driving force is the only way we can all move forward. There is no better example of this than the people who offer themselves to a life a service, regardless of how the world around them treats them.
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