Hello Dan,

Here it is mid may of 2012 and Memorial Day is fast approaching. Don Herrold has asked me to
once again be a guest speaker at his Memorial Day Ceremony. It is difficult, but I agreed. It is
yet another chance to keep your memory and spirit alive.

A lot has gone on this year. Jason and Chrissy added a son to their family. Lucas Matthew. He
is a little fellow but he will grow. Sitting up at the hospital I was watching Jason and Chrissy hold
him and I got to thinking about you and that made me think about Memorial Day for some
reason. It all inspired me to write this poem that I think I will read instead of a big speech this
year. It's called Heroes. See what you think:

A child was born the other day
In that hospital just across the way
Something that happens every day
To folks like you and me.

As his parents looked at him with pride
I looked at them through teary eyes
And thought about all those who died
So their child could be born free.

From east to west both black and white
Each stood their ground and fought the fight
They gave their lives for what was right
For the sake of liberty.

To those heroes I made a vow
That as we stand here gathered now
I’d ask for all your heads to bow
In respect and dignity.

Lord bless those heroes strong and brave
I pray their souls for You to save
For the sacrifice that each one made
In the service of our country

And Lord let us not forget
That to these heroes we owe a debt
For they sacrificed without regret
To keep our country free.

Lord give us all the strength I pray
We don’t let their memory fade away
Help us think of them every single day
And thank them respectfully.

We are free to gather here today
Proud citizens of the USA
Enjoying life and the American Way
Because Heroes died for you and me.
We are about to give out another scholarship next week. It wasn't all that long ago that we sat in
that auditorium on Awards Day back in 1999 when you graduated. Little did we know then what
the next 5 years would bring. Life is like that but we seldom pay attention or make the most of it.

Patrick and Cassie are having a baby boy this fall. They are going to name him Dawson Elliott.
In other family news, your sister Heather is getting married this Saturday at the Courthouse in
Jeffersonville She wants just a small ceremony with not much fanfare. She has invited your
mom, Your dad and myself. I think Bobby's mom and dad and all the kids are going to be there

Lincoln's track team won the Daniel Faulkner Relays this year. How fitting was that? Lincoln ran
very well and received a medal. I know that means a great deal to him. He qualified for
Regionals last night at the Sectional meet in Corydon. Somehow I know that you are there
running with him, providing the silent coaching and encouragement he needs. You would be
very proud if him, his mom and dad don't always give him enough credit, but he has a really
good head on his shoulders and is quickly growing and becoming a fine young man.

Kelly will be going into the 8th grade next year. It is amazing at how fast time goes by. Summer
and Ethan will be in the 3rd and 2nd grades respectively. Summer is playing softball this year
and doing quite well. She can catch pretty good and has actually gotten some good hits!

Emma is playing T Ball and she is quite good at it as well. Kelly is a natural born soccer player
and is going to try her hand at Field Hockey again. The thought of her running around with a
large stick is enough to frighten you at times! She played a year or two ago and didn't do too
badly! She is a natural born competitor and she plays hard. Kaitlin is playing soccer as well. Neil
is her coach. If she takes after him then she will be a good athlete as well.

This August your two uncles, Jason, your brother in laws Neil and Mark, your cousins Willie and
Michael and a bunch of others along with myself are going to Kentucky Lake for a golf outing.
This will be our third year. There are twelve of us all together. I certainly wish you were able to
join us. I can remember all the other times you and I went and played golf and laughed so much
our sides hurt. Those were some great times. The Hoosier Hills golf course closed down.
Whenever I drive by it I think about the time we played there and got to laughing about the cows
in the field next to the fairway getting hit by golf balls. It never did take too much to amuse us did

Al in all life is good although it would be better if you were still with us. We all think about you in
our own ways, and we all still privately struggle at times with your loss. Nothing is the same
without you.

Take care my good friend and may God keep you safe and sound.