In honor of one 5-year-old’s love for the United States military, a touching tribute took place at the boy’s funeral on June 25, 2019, at Cullendale First Baptist Church in Camden, Arkansas.
In 2017, things started looking up — Oakley was in remission. But soon after, tests revealed that the cancer was back.
Despite all he faced, the boy was known to be a fighter. “Oakley is the toughest 3 year old I know!” his GoFundMe page reads.
Though he was just 5, this little guy knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.
“In between hospital stays, Oakley spent his free time driving his power wheels and shooting his toy guns,” his obituary states. “He often talked of being an ‘Army Man’, as he called it, when he grew up.”
It is because Oakley wanted to be an “Army Man” that his parents, Shelby and Colton Nimmo, wanted their son’s funeral to be all about his big and beautiful dream.
“We are going to give Oakley a full military service in honor of his wish to become an ‘Army Man’, one day,” a post on the Prayers for Oakley Nimmo page reads. “We ask that any active military members and/or veterans to please attend the funeral in their uniforms.”
“We really want to pay tribute to this soldier so once we get the details set, please make plans to come and honor Oakley and the fight he has fought,” the post goes on. “We want it to be big so we can send off this sweet boy, with a bang.”
And, oh boy, did those soldiers show up to send him off right. Arkansas National Guard even promoted Oakley “to the rank of Honorary Colonel,” according to their Facebook post on June 25.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Arkansas National Guard, rest in peace little buddy,” the post says. “To River’s family, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.”
CNN reported that dozens of Arkansas National Guard members arrived at the funeral dressed in uniform to pay their respects to the little boy who fought as hard as any soldier.
“It’s a part of our community responsibility,” Maj. William Phillips told CNN. “We’re all Arkansans, and we’re always ready and always there to support our fellow Arkansans in a time of need.”
Our prayers are with the family at this time. If you would like to contribute to the funeral expenses and a headstone for Oakley, you can visit his GoFundMe page.
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