After Triston Walsh’s dad was killed on a tour of duty, all the 16-year-old wanted was something to remember him by. So when his mom told him she had sold his beloved Ford Bronco, the teen was understandably devastated and refused to talk to her. It would take a lot to win back her son’s affection, but his mom had a secret plan.
Triston is a full-time student, in his sophomore year at Belleville West High School. He lives with his family in Millstadt, Illinois, which in fact is just across the state border from St. Louis, Missouri. Life, however, has been tough at times for the teenager, his 12-year-old brother, Tanner, and their mom, Julie, 39.
Julie was born Julie Kilgore and was raised in Millstadt. At age 21, she happened to be working a bar at a marines’ function in North Carolina. That’s where she met Nick Walsh. The young soldier had been attending Camp Lejeune, a training ground for the Marine Corps in Jacksonville.