Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.
Please tell us a funny story about your child.
Sam attended Pinellas Park Baptist Temple as a young boy. He absolutely loved his teacher Ms Perkins. He had her in Pre-k for a couple years. He learned all the books of the Bible at age 4. He learned them by singing them. One evening while singing them I overheard him " genesis, exodus, a big ten x, Numbers, etc. I stopped him and asked him to repeat it. "Genesis, Exodus, a big ten x, Numbers, ..... I laughed and said Sammy it is Leviticus, not a big ten x. He said no Mommy Ms Perkins said it is a big ten x.. He would not believe me no matter how much I explained it. The next day I took him up to Ms. Perkins and had to have her tell him herself. She just laughed. But she had to tell him.. Lol
Tell us about your child’s personality.
Happy, funny, outgoing, confident and very very intelligent.
How has the loss of your child impacted your family?
It has forever changed our family. It will never be the same. Everyday is a struggle, but the world keeps going, and it does not stop.
What did you love most about your child?
His sweet nature and sense of humor.
What did your child enjoy most about serving in the military?
He enjoyed working on the CH 53 heavy lift helicopter. He enjoyed being a crew chief.
What did your child want to be when they grew up?
He wanted to work on aircraft. He loved helicopters.
What do you miss most about your child?
Being with him, talking with him, sharing life's moments. His way of always making people laugh.
What has been the greatest challenge since the loss of your child?
Just going on without him is a challenge. Hearing his sweet baby boy tell me how he wished he had known his Daddy breaks my heart. My life's goal is to make sure he knows him through me and others who knew him. I guess my greatest challenge is to make sure he knows his daddy, so that means I GO On .....on to teach and to make sure he is known by his only son and to not be forgotten by others.
What inspired your child to join the military?
He loved helicopters and was patriotic. He wanted to serve his country and thought that every young man and woman should serve their country if possible. He loved his country.
What message would you like to share with families with a loved one still serving in the military?
Be supportive and proud of your child. Tell them you love them every chance you get. Thank them for serving our country.
What message would you like to share with other Gold Star families?
Learn to live again. Don't give up on life. Stay strong for the rest of your family. Your child would want you to enjoy your life. That is so hard to do after the lost of a child.. I am still learning to do this after eight years. Put your energy into something you enjoy. Helping Veterans and staying involved and meeting with other Gold Star families helps..
What was your child like in high school?
He was voted Prom Prince one year. Sam set the trends. He was a leader, never a follower. Sam was described to me by teachers and other adults as a genius. He was also described to me from other adults as respectful and polite. . He was very handsome with beautiful crystal clear sky blue eyes , but over everything else he always brought laughter to everyone he was around. He was so much fun. Everyone loved him. He was a very well mannered and responsible young man.
What was your child most passionate about?
He was most passionate about learning. He enjoyed taking things apart to see how they worked. He loved spending time with his family.
What was your Hero like as a child?
He was such a sweet and very intelligent child. Very well behaved and loving. Which hobbies or activities did your child enjoy most?
Flying his remote helicopters, playing videos, dance revolution and making people laugh!! Spending time with family and friends and especially Thanksgiving get together with family.