Pennsylvania family gifts grieving Liberty Hill family handmade flags

Twenty-seven-year-old Dylan Bowen loved serving his country. He served six years in the U.S. Navy.

"He was a very adventurous type of person. He liked the traveling, experiencing the cultures in different countries," said his mother Marcia Freeman.

When he came back home, the war still followed him. Bowen ended up taking his own life in 2021, leaving his family in indescribable pain.

"I don't think they should have to fight their demons alone. I wish that's what my brother knew," said Dakota Freeman, his brother.

A year later, the Liberty Hill family came to the Veterans’ Memorial in Cedar Park to reflect on their loved one, and remember the life he lived. Little did they know, Carrie Hendershot and her family would deliver handmade flags, glossed, with the weight of plaques, in Bowen’s honor.

"I’m speechless," said Marcia.

The Hendershots traveled from Pennsylvania to hand-deliver the two flags. They are hoping to raise awareness to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs that says 22 veterans per day commit suicide.

"We love being able to present something in honor of a loved one to a family but it's also very sad because our work kind of stems from a tragedy," said Hendershot.

The Freemans will continue to visit the park each year to reflect on Bowen’s life, and they want to remind veterans that they are never alone.

"Talk to people. Talk to your loved ones. No matter how strong you think you have to be, you don't have to be that strong. You have more people who love you than you realize," said Brad Freeman, his father.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The service is free.

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