To my favorite oldest son,

I can't believe it has been 5 years since you left us. So many things have changed yet things
are the same. The one thing that is constant is that everyone misses you dearly.

I'll never forget coming down the hall and seeing your Uncle Bobby and the two Army
gentlemen standing there. I knew without it being told it was not good news. The shock was
beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It was truly the worst day of my life.

I have talked with many people since that day that have been through similar tragedies and
the underlying sentiment was the same from everyone, life will never be the same. I know
you are not physically here with us but I can still feel your presence. I can sit in the living
room and still see you standing in the doorway with your arms stretched up to the ceiling
and your hat on backwards. I can still see you picking up Heather and shaking her like a rag
doll. Memories that will stay with me forever. No, life is not the same, it is different. We each
have our separate memories that we hold dear to our hearts.

You have 9 nieces and nephews that we each share our memories with. You will live on
through them. It's hard to believe that 6 of them were born after you left us but they know
who you are. Ema thinks that all flags are Uncle Dan flags. Ethan and Summer argue over
who you liked the best even though Ethan wasn't born yet when you died. Aubrey is Heather
made over and she would make you laugh. Kaitlin is as serious as Kathleen.

Life is not the same but it has been good. You have watched over us and taken care of us
for the last 5 years. I know you will continue to do so as the years go by. We miss you and
that will never change.

Give my love to mom and dad.