This is more than a FLAG
Luke Hortenstien is who it represented. An American Hero who died. A man that dedicated his life to the freedoms we share.
Over Christmas Tina's mom Nancy Fry ordered her this name sign to mark the entrance of their property in Tennessee. By the grace of god there was a few extra foot on the end of her sign.
Nancy came back in and said she loved the flags we did on other signs and wanted us to ad one in the remembrance of Luke.
When I met Tina I got to hear the story of Luke's life and I was touched by it. I wanted to share Luke's Story with the world. So Tina sent me this below.
Hi it’s Tina from Tennessee.
Luke was from Ramsey, IL and I was from Litchfield IL. We both worked at the factory in Litchfield called Dana manufacturing.
I became pregnant with twins and we heard rumors of the plant closing, so Luke and I thought it would be best for our family to join the military.
So he joined the Army in March of 2001. During his career he traveled many different locations.
He served a year in South Korea, and was deployed to Iraq, and Afghanistan. He returned from Afghanistan with severe back pain. 2 weeks after being home I made him see a dr.
That day they did a scan on his back and we were sent in our way. 20mins after leaving we received a phone call telling us to turn around and come back immediately.
So we did, thinking that his back must be REALLY bad. They say is down and gave us news that changed our lives forever. They had found a tumor the size of a grapefruit pressing on his spin in his lower abdomen.
Now we know the cause of his pain, let’s get this thing out. Luke started chemo immediately and it failed. He did have the tumor removed only for it to return with 2 tumors. He was treated with every type of chemo available and unfortunately the tumors grew.
He had a second surgery and both tumors were removed. We were so hopefull that he would be ok. But that was short lived.
Within 6 months his tumors were back and growing rapidly. No treatment would work and the drs refused to do anymore surgeries. They believed it would cause more harm than good.
We found a clinical trial and we applied.
Luke was excepted and the morning of his first treatment, we arrive in good spirts thinking this was it. We both believed that this would work. But unfortunately we received a phone call from Tricare telling us, he wasn’t allowed to participate is this study.
We where crushed. No medication or treatments where working and we received this crushing news. Unfortunately Luke was having severe difficulties days later and I took him into the ER.
He was admitted and the next morning we received the news we never wanted to hear. His cancer had spread into his organs and they were starting to shut down.
Lukes last wish in life was to go home and be with his family. So that’s what he did. He had several things on his bucket list he always wanted to do.
His long life dream was to have a certain car. After weeks of searching I found someone that owned that car. I contacted that owner and he agreed to help fulfill a dream.
He brought his car to our local church and offered to give Luke a ride. He even offered to let Luke drive this car. Luke was so happy that I seen tears.
Unfortunately Luke had a lot worse days to follow his car ride. He passed on November 14, 2015.
He was 35yrs old. He was active duty and continued to go to work until the end.
He said it was his duty to serve his people and that’s what he was going to do. Luke was also the youth group leader at our local church.
Luke was stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st.
We lived and still do in our home in. Tennessee. He loved serving his country, his church and his community. He loved to hunt, and fish and spend time with his family.
RIP Luke we will meet one day my friend.