OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Cars pass and horns honk, but for veteran Derek Van Tuyl, his Memorial Day thoughts are filled with remembrance.
“When I’m out there, I’m reflecting on my friends that I lost. I hear the honks and all that, but I’m kind of in my own little world and I just get to walk,” Van Tuyl said. “It’s my therapy.”
Van Tuyl served as an Army medic for nine years. He walked around Owensboro for six hours Monday with a flag in hand and a bag.
“On my bag I made a collage of pictures that has all of their photos on it, so each one of those is a friend that I lost,” he explained.
This isn’t the first year Van Tuyl has done the walk. He wants to remind those who see him about the meaning of Memorial Day.
“You can go have fun and have your barbecues but just take a minute out of the day to remember the soldiers that this nation has lost fighting in our wars,” he said. “I don’t do it in public to get a reaction out of people … I do it with the flag so they can see a guy walking down the road with a flag and just take that minute to remember what today is.”