Evergreen tree planted by deceased child chopped down and stolen from family's yard

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tree planted by deceased child stolen from family's yard
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Tree planted by deceased child stolen from family's yard: Walter Perez reports on Action News at 5:30 p.m., December 11, 2017

COATESVILLE, Pennsylvania -- If there were two things David Turner, Jr. of Coatesville loved, they were Christmas and veterans.

To help foster that love of Christmas, David and his dad planted an Evergreen sapling in the backyard when David was nine years old.

The promise was to let it grow and then bring it inside for a special Christmas in the future.

As far as his love for veterans, Mr. Turner said David took that matter into his own hands.

"He worked at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center," said David Turner, Sr. "He had a lot of respect for the veterans he served. He wanted to help them."

Unfortunately, that ended back in 2009 when David, at the age of 20, suddenly died of an undetected heart arrhythmia.

David's parents have since formed a charity called 'David's Drive' which collects and donates basic supplies, like soap, candy and even underwear, for homeless and disabled veterans.

Officials from the VA said it is a fitting way to honor David's memory.

"We give them everything they need, but those special items are provided to us through 'David's Drive,'" said Earl Johnson, of the Coatesville VA Medical Center. "The veterans are extremely grateful."

The other thing that helped keep Davis's memory alive was that little Evergreen.

That is until a few days ago, when the Turner's said someone walked onto their property, cut it down and took it for their own.

Mr. Turner said he didn't notice it was gone until this weekend.

"Took a look at it and I realized they just came prepared with a saw and helped themselves to it," said Turner.

Turner adds he honestly wants the person who took it to keep it.

"I hope your children are sitting under the tree on Christmas day and have the best Christmas of their lives," he said.

But Turner did feel compelled to leave a little Christmas tree on his son's grave, so in some small way he was able to keep his promise.