Ariz. officer to make 425-mile trek to honor U.S. Army friends who were killed in action By:


By Sarah Roebuck

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MESA, Ariz. — Recruit Training Officer Shawn Patterson with the Mesa Police Department will be making a 425-mile trek to honor his fallen friends.

Selected as the 2023 Legacies Alive Challenger, U.S. Army Veteran Patterson is set to participate in tribute to his friends, Sergeant Tyler Holtz and Specialist Ricardo Cerros, Jr., who were both killed in action during a 2011 deployment in Afghanistan.

Patterson will start his 425-mile journey on Sept. 24, the 12th anniversary of Holtz’s death, from Holtz’s hometown of Dana Point, Calif. He will finish the trip in Cerros’ hometown of Salinas, Calif.

“My mission is to honor, celebrate, and pay tribute to not just Tyler and Ricardo, but to all have died in service to our nation,” Patterson stated in his bio.

Legacies Alive’s mission is to bolster and assist the Gold Star families of fallen heroes, according to the nonprofit’s website. Its purpose is not just to provide support, but also to raise nationwide awareness about the life and unique characteristics of all service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Patterson said he is raising funds through Legacies Alive to raise awareness around the sacrifices Gold Star families have made and to put up a permanent memorial for his fallen friends.

Patterson is scheduled to end his journey on Oct. 22.