TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — It’s been a decade since Gene and Dona Griffin’s son, Dale was killed in combat on October 27 2009.
Since that day, they said they’ve received an outpouring of community support.
“On the way to the funeral home where his body was taken, people lined up with flags and waving,” Gene said.
For Dona, she said the moment was strengthening.
“The fact that everybody showed up to show their support, gave us the strength we needed during that time when it was really, really tough,” she said.
Sergeant Kyle Childress was killed in combat just four years earlier.
Both soldiers have been honored across Vigo County in several ways.
“We were given a call by the city and they wanted to take one of the monuments there at the courthouse and etch his name in it along with Kyle Childress, who was killed in 2005 in Iraq,” Gene said.
The Griffin Bike Park is also a place for Sergeant Griffin and Sergeant Childress to be remembered, along with many other Hoosiers who served.
“In our park, we have honored over 210 of those that have served since 9/11. Since the war on terrorism,” Gene said.
Now, the City of Terre Haute will name one portion of Eagle Street as Sergeant Kyle Childress OIF Memorial Way and Sergeant Dale Griffin OEF Memorial Way.
According to the Griffins, while they’re humbled that both soldiers are being honored in this way, there is a greater lesson to be learned.
“We need to be sure that our children and our grandchildren have an understanding of the prices that have been paid and continue to be paid to secure our freedoms,” said Dona.
The Terre Haute Board of Public Works and Safety will prepare signage for the memorial ways.
Sergeant Griffin and Sergeant Childress are also honored at the Veterans Memorial Museum of Terre Haute.