Posted: Oct 25, 2013 3:21 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
The White House says more than 6700 men and women have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and one man from Paso Robles wants to make sure the memories of those brave troops live on.
With every carve, design, and detail, David Bouillez is helping to create a lasting memory.
"I have to speak with every family. It is really emotional. They all care about their son or daughter, husband or wife that they lost," said Bouillez.
Bouillez hopes he'll help them find some hope despite their loss. For the last two years, he's been making memory boxes for the families of fallen soldiers, and it all began with a gift.
"I made a jewelry box for my girlfriend at the time, similar to these boxes, and we were watching the news and a couple of soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, and I just said, I wish there was something we could do for the families," said Bouillez.
That's when his girlfriend had the idea to make and sell the boxes, but Bouillez wanted to give it too families free of charge. He soon realized, however, he couldn't afford to do it with just a good heart. He sold his pickup truck to buy the machine that makes the boxes. He's now made and donated more than 30 boxes.
He has more than 500 orders from all over the country, and each of them have a different story. "A lady that requested a box said she's going to give it to her niece who never met her father. It is a lot of work. It's cost me a lot of money, but like I said, when the family receives the box, it just makes me want to do it more and more and more," said Bouillez.
David has received donations to help offset the cost of making the boxes, which cost about $300 each.
The San Luis Obispo County Supervisors recently awarded him with a $2600 grant to make the boxes for local soldiers. The money has to be used within the next 11 months.
If you'd like to learn more about how to get one, click here.
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