Family of fallen Airman finds final home for son’s uniform

KWTX News 10 at 10P
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 10:02 PM CDT
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HAMILTON, Texas (KWTX) - The word “perfect” is how one Central Texas family is describing a specially made uniform case for their late son.

It was not easy, though. They searched in quite a few places, but could not find the right fit until now.

Reese Haile died in 2019, while stationed in Germany. After his death, he was cremated and the his family got to keep his uniform.

“We were joking, this is San Antonio so there’s a lot to do on the River Walk,” said Stephanie Brown, Reese’s mother while describing him after finishing basic training from Lackland Air Force Base.

“And every reflection in a window or every mirror, Reese would look at himself make sure the gig line was straight,” she said.

Soon the family will have his uniform preserved in a specially made case. This comes around two-and-a-half years after his death.

“It’s part of the healing process, it absolutely is,” said Brown. “This is kind of like the final thing that we wanted to do to honor him.”

But it was hard to find the right person to get the job done. And they looked for a while.

That is where Jason Sparks, owner of Petrified Truth comes in.

“She asked, she said, ‘would you be interested in building a uniform display case for my son?’” said Sparks. “Of course, certainly.”

A former Marine and now craftsman, he is used to making specialized cutting boards and cigar humidors.

But this is the first time he has worked on a uniform case.

“I told (Stephanie), you know. We’ll definitely swing for the fence, I use that term a lot,” said Sparks.

Within weeks, he was putting plans together to make the case as special as possible. He even hurried to get it done before a special date.

“My days run together a lot and I realized Memorial Day was coming up and I was within striking distance of having it finished,” said Sparks. “So I decided, well, I’m going to stay down here and burn some midnight oil.”

Now it is on to the next piece for Sparks. But for the Browns, it is the final spot for something special for their boy.

“Our son loved attention,” said Brown. “This is perfect for him.”

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