A northern Texas teenager spent four grueling hours in the sun mowing an American flag into a fallen Army soldier's front yard. It was, the 17-year-old said, a tribute to his friend, Army Pfc. Kevin Christian, who died while on duty in June.
Cameron James of Haslet, Texas first met Christian, 21, while they were Boy Scouts together, which lead to a lasting friendship.
"He was just a role model for me," James told KTVT of his friend. "So I wanted to make sure he was missed by even the people who didn't know him."
Christian, a member of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, was deployed by the Arizona-Mexico border. It was ruled that he died by suicide on June 23, according to Dr. Greg Hess, Pima County chief medical examiner. Christian was the second soldier working to secure the Mexico border in Arizona who died by suicide in June.
With the help of his brother, Daniel, 11, James mowed the stripes of the flag by using different settings on the lawn mower and created all 50 stars by utilizing a weed eater.
"It was a lot of work," James told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth. "But it was worth it."
"I'm very proud of my son and his thoughtfulness," James' mother Amy told CNN. "As the daughter of an Army man, the niece of a Navy man, and the granddaughter of an Air Force man, his memorial made me feel that he was honoring not only Kevin but all of the servicemen stationed at home and abroad."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
If you are a veteran or a member of the military in crisis or concerned about one, please text Text 838255 to contact the Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line, or call 1-800-273-8255.
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