A 5-year-old boy from Arkansas who always dreamed of becoming an “Army man” lost his battle with cancer last week.
So his family worked to honor him the best way they knew how — with a military funeral.
River “Oakley” Nimmo battled cancer for three years before passing away on June 20, Fox News reports.
His family wrote in his obituary that he “often talked of being an ‘Army Man,’ as he called it, when he grew up.”
A Facebook page for the boy showed the child wearing military uniforms and holding toy guns.
OAKLEY IS 5!!!!!!!!!!!!Yesterday, Oakley had a birthday party and it was the BEST DAY EVER!!! He had a REAL “Army Guy”…
Oakley’s love for the military inspired his family to reach out to service members and ask them to attend the child’s funeral, which took place on Tuesday.
The boy’s obituary read:
The family requests anyone that is serving or has served in the any branch of the United States Military to attend in uniform in honor of Oakley’s dream to serve his country.
A photo taken at the service showed that dozens of military members showed up to honor the late 5-year-old.
No shortage of uniformed military members on hand for the funeral of Oakley Nimmo – the five-year-old who dreamed of being an “army man” who lost his battle with cancer last week. (Photo: Karen Bailey) @KATVNews #ARNews pic.twitter.com/af65RWc1uL
— Matt Mershon (@MattMershonKATV) June 25, 2019
The 5-year-old is now an honorary member of the military himself thanks to the Arkansas National Guard.
On the day Oakley passed away, he was made an “Honorary Colonel,” it announced on Facebook.
The Arkansas National Guard has promoted “Army Man” River Oakley Nimmo to the rank of Honorary Colonel, with an effective date of June 20, 2019, in honor of his life and passion for the United States military.
The order promoting River assigned him to the Joint Force Headquarters, Camp Joseph T. Robinson, North Little Rock, Ark., with a duty title of ARMY MAN.
The 5-year-old battled neuroblastoma, a cancer that “that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
He was declared cancer-free after undergoing chemotherapy but relapsed.
Though the family is going through a tragic time, it seems they have the support of fellow Arkansans behind them.