BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS) — He’s a mid-Michigan native who died serving as a police officer in Virginia. And now a big honor is in the works for fallen Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer in his hometown of Brooklyn, Michigan.
Sitting on the bleachers of the Columbia Central High School soccer field, Anne Barnett told 8News sister station WLNS she can feel the presence of her son, Chad Dermyer.
“In the breeze and in the trees,” Barnett said.
Dermyer graduated from Columbia Central High School in 1996. He went on to become a US Marine, Jackson police officer, and then a Virginia State Trooper.
Last year in Virginia, the 37-year-old married father of two was shot and killed while doing the job he loved.
“So many people say that his smile was his trademark,” Barnett said. “And last night as I was looking through pictures reminded me of that million dollar smile that he had.”
Dermyer played a big role in starting the school’s soccer program.
Last week, the Columbia School District Board of Education voted to name the soccer field the Chad P. Dermyer Memorial Field.
“I think he would have been humbled by it. To think that his hometown is memorializing him in this way,” Barnett said.
The school says this will be a great place for people to come and remember Dermyer. But they also hope to use it as a learning opportunity for students.
School officials say he’ll be an excellent role model.
“Just the values he lived his life by. And the character that he had and the way he lived his life is a great role model for our young students,” said Columbia School District Superintendent Pam Campbell.
“Character and service is a key part of everybody’s life, and giving back to others. I think that reminder is the biggest thing, in my opinion,” said School Board President Bob Wahr.
For Dermyer’s family, the naming of the soccer field is a bright spot in a year of darkness.
“The more we can get chad’s name out there is exactly what we want to do. I think this helps heal,” Barnett said.
The field will officially be dedicated later this fall.
His family is raising money for a new scoreboard that will bear the new name of the field.
If you’d like to donate contact the Columbia School District at (517) 592-6641.