Balloons Released In Honor Of A Victim Killed By An Impaired Driver

Tuesday, August 1st 2006, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

A military family held a birthday party in an unusual place Tuesday, a cemetery. They released balloons not only to honor their loved one, but to also send a message about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Nick Huse had only been home for 10 months from Afghanistan when an impaired driver killed him.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has his story.

"Nicholas wasn't defined by his death. While we mourn his passing each day, we are so tickled he was in our life." You can hear it in Cindy Huse' voice, how much she misses her son. Sergeant Nick Huse was in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, yet it was a danger here at home, which took his life.

"An impaired driver didn't see him and hit him and didn't stop until he'd gone over Nick and hit a tree." Nick's family had to identify him by a tattoo; his mother now has a matching one, in his honor. She doesn't claim he was a saint, just a loving, fun-filled, honor bound son. "He could alternately aggravate you to death and make you want to hug him."

Cindy says she learned much about her son when he was buried with full military honors. "I saw him at the funeral as my boy, my son, my baby. But, the military part of the funeral when the chaplain was talking about Nick saving his life and grabbing his shirt and saying, you're with me. That's when I saw my son, the man and it's the most precious gift I could've been given."

Nick loved getting presents, so his family marked what would've been his 27th birthday with a balloon release, each one tied with a mothers against drunk driving ribbon. “Happy birthday Nick, Happy birthday Nick."

Just as he followed his mission in the service, his mother believes Nick has a new mission now. "Maybe what it is, is to now show people the hazards of drinking and driving cause no other mama should have to do this."

Nick had a baby on the way when he died. His son, Garreth, was born last November. You can learn more about Nick's life on his website.