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Veteran gets a final wish granted to see his friend’s memorial

Posted at 7:52 AM, May 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-12 12:19:13-04

WOODLAND PARK- Many people reaching their final days of life come up with various sights and adventures they’d like to see before they reach the end of life.

For Steve Pflug, seeing Lance Corporal Eric V. Dickson’s memorial statue in Woodland Park was one of those milestones.

Last year, a big ceremony was held at Memorial Park to reveal the new memorial for Dickson- more than a half century after his death in the Vietnam War.

Pflug was a friend of Dicksons, graduating a year before him at Woodland Park High School.

Pflug was in the hospital and couldn’t make the ceremony, and he worried he would never get the chance to pay his respects.

“It broke my heart that it might not have happened,” said Pflug, holding back the tears while speaking with reporters on Saturday.

Pflug is currently staying in hospice in Wheatridge, CO- when he told his childhood friend Candy Shoemaker he had a goal of seeing the memorial, Shoemaker did everything she could to make it happen.

“Woodland Park Schools in those days was quite small, there was 32 kids in my class and I think 30 in his and we were all very close, Eric was in my class Eric Dickson,” said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker worked with American Medical Response (AMR), which runs a program called “Sentimental Journey.”

“We wanted to do something for him, one of his big wishes, you hate to say last wishes but you know, you really want it want it to work,” said Shoemaker.

“It’s something that is above and beyond for sure,” said Shoemaker.

A crowd gathered around Dickson’s memorial Saturday, as paramedics wheeled Pflug into the park, Pflug in awe of the memorial- saluting Dickson’s statute.

“He gave everything, I mean he did give, he sacrificed the ultimate,” said Pflug.

The park also holds special significance for Shoemaker and Pflug- it was a place while in high school they went to all the time.

“There’s always been a lake here, not quite this fancy, but you know, we hung out a lot,” said Shoemaker.