Medford, Ore.- Oregon state trooper Mike Benson has never met Philip Lowd but they share a bond that will connect them for the rest of their lives.
“It’s not about yourself,” Mike said.
Both men have made a commitment to serve the state of Oregon.
“There is nothing more honorable than someone to laid down their life for someone else,” he said.
And Lowd did just that. On June 24,1952 Trooper Lowd was on duty investigating a scene near Elk Creek when he was shot and killed in the head.
“Its been this life long commitment of mine to honor the people who are killed in action or killed in the line of duty. It really resonates with me at a very very personal level that these people are willing to give up their lives for people they don’t even know,” said Mike.
In Oregon 33 men and women have fallen in the line of duty and honor guards like Mike are making sure they’re never forgotten.
“It does get a little bit emotional for me just because I feel like sometimes people forget about the sacrifices that are made,” he said.
Which is why Mike is fixing up the grave sites for two of the 33 troopers.
“A lot of these guys that we are taking care of their family members are long gone,” he said.
But when it’s all said and done just seeing the flag fly above each troopers grave gives Mike hope that their legacy will shine on.
“It’s very heartwarming for me to be able to carry on their memory and to ensure they’re not forgotten,” Mike said.