Today, a Minnesota organization, Tribute to the Troops, paid their respects to a Cleveland, Minnesota family who lost their son in 2010.
Tribute to the Troops' Jim Woodruff says, "Walt, Lois, Jacob, Madison. We're here for one reason today: Rob. Your son, your dad. All these folks here are here to honor his memory and to pay tribute to your dad and the service he gave to our country.
Woodruff says, "We formed Tribute to the Troops as a way to honor those families that have lost someone in the service of our country and so every year, several times a year, we get on the motorcycles and we go visit the families and wherever they happen to be and let them know that they haven't been forgotten."
Rob Cheever, age 37, died in February 2010 of pancreatic cancer.
Walt Cheever says, "He spent half of his life in the military. He had 18 and a half years in and he was looking forward to retirement. He spent five, had five overseas tours. Three of them were in Afghanistan and two in Korea."
Tribute to the Troops is a Minnesota organization that formed back in 2004 and offers healing to grieving military families as one by one they lined up to make sure the family received a hug from all 75 of them while offering words of comfort.
Tribute spokeswoman says, "But each person here, along with each one of you, knows your pain and we want you to know that we're here for you. So if you want to call us or talk to us or cry with us. If you want to tell that memory for the 100th time again because we know and I think Val Kennedy was saying, we can't take anymore pictures, we can't make anymore memories, so it's up to us to keep sharing those memories and keeping their memories alive."
The impact brought by the group was felt most by those nearest to Rob.
Maddie Cheever says, "It means a lot because he was a really good person and I loved him really much. I didn't realize that people did that."
Jake Cheever says, "I feel actually kinda proud that they knew about my dad. It made me feel sorta special about my dad."
Tribute spokesman says, "On behalf of the Tribute to the Troops, Minnesota chapter, we'd like to present you with this plaque of Robert. And we hope you find a good spot on your wall for it and every time you look at it, you can remember this visit and know that at least this group will never forget your sacrifice."
Woodruff says, "We know that Rob Cheever gave 18 and a half years of his life to serve our country and it was the least we can do; to be here and honor this family today."
Honor the family of a Mankato East grad who made the ultimate sacrifice.