We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make Adrian Elizalde’s homecoming so amazing. In this time of sadness and heartache, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, kindness, and assistance that we received from everyone.
Our thanks to:
- Bill Lucero, because you offered to open the doors to the gym to have Adrian’s services and made it happen flawlessly. He was an integral part of him becoming an avid hunter and a huge influence to him. He made that day easier and we were surprised and proud that so many individuals came to pay respects to Adrian.
- Mayor Rick Wetherall, whose contribution and guidance to Adrian as a student and athlete were always admired. We could never have imagined the effect that Adrian had on this community. His offer and completion of having him escorted from the airport, to the chapel, to the high school and then on to his final resting place, was amazing and beautiful.
- North Bend Fire Department, the Coos Bay Fire Department, the North Bend Police Department and the Coos Bay Police Department: The procession was more than we could ever have imagined. We had witnessed the loss of some of the our city’s heroes when we still lived in North Bend and never did we envision ourselves receiving the same kind of honors. Thank you.
- The staff at Ocean Air Aviation and to Jaye Stultz at Horizon Airlines at Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, our thanks for making it a smooth transition to be there to receive Adrian upon his return to “home.” That, by far, was one of the toughest days in all. However, to have the private space to see that Adrian had returned to his place of youth with dignity and respect was made easier by both facilities collaborating to make sure that his family could be present upon his arrival.
- Angie Duvall, whose assistance, patience and ability to translate our babble when we needed to accomplish Adrian’s wishes was so appreciated. She listened and executed everything that we needed.
- Christie the manager, Sandi and the rest of staff at the Red Lion Inn, for their flexibility and willingness to accommodate our family, our friends, and us on a weekend that was meant for pleasure in the community. We appreciate their open doors. They took an enormous load from our shoulders.
- The ladies of Hillcrest, coaches and staff of North Bend High School and North Bend Junior High, to the other teachers and staff from the rest of the community schools as well as our friends who took the time out of your day their presence at the airport meant more than you will ever know. We thought that we could do it alone, but, indeed, we all needed you. Your support of Adrian through his various stages in growing up and then your support for us when we needed it most was appreciated more than words can describe.
- The Patriot Guard Riders, whose assistance in helping lead the way for Adrian’s homecoming was an amazing site. We could never have imagined such a scene. Their support of our country’s heroes is ever so apparent in their actions and outpouring of support. They created an amazing memory not only for us, but also for Sydney Grace, so that now she believes that flags will fly forever for her Daddy.
and Tom Boynton and everybody at North Bend Chapel, who made such a difficult and trying time in our lives as manageable as possible, considering the circumstances. Their organization of an honorable, distinguished, and beautiful service was everything we could have imagined and more and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
And our thanks to everyone who sent or brought the beautiful flowers, Adrian loved nature and one of the places that he was the most in awe of its beauty, was in his mother’s backyard. Any splash of nature’s color brought warmth and happiness to him.
If we have failed to recognize anyone else individually, by no means does it mean that their actions and gestures went unnoticed, because they were most certainly. In the whirlwind moments, we often felt (and still feel) helpless and lost, yet each of you was and has been able to step in a provide a shoulder, an ear, or take on tasks from behind the scenes to release the “pressure” valve so that we could and can continue.
Adrian was a soldier, an athlete and an avid hunter. He was a loyal Duck, a Steeler, and a St. Louis Cardinal fan. He was a loving son, a protective brother and a doting father. He knew when to have fun and he knew the moment when he needed to be serious to get a job done. Adrian, by no means, did anything mediocre. If it wasn’t perfect, it had to be done again. Because of the help and support from all of you, Adrian’s celebration was, in the simple word perfect. Thank you so very much. Those words feel so inadequate to say; yet they are meant from the depths of our souls.
Jorge, Terri, Rachel and Sydney Grace Elizalde