Family of fallen soldier receives special portrait during Freedom Cruise

Posted at 11:48 PM, Sep 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-23 23:49:17-04

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. --  A patriotic event was held in Kent County Sunday afternoon as the community gathered to remember a fallen soldier.

The 5th annual Freedom Cruise was held at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, where hundreds of riders escorted the family of Nicholas Roush through the northern part of Kent County. During the event, many supporters lined the streets with flags and saluted the family.

Nicholas Roush was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near his vehicle while he was on a mission. Roush, who was from Middleville, was only 22 years old.

During Sunday's event, Roush's family was presented with a special portrait of their son.

"The eyes really speak to you, you can see the character in his eyes," said Roush's father, Bob. "That’s Nick all the way, that’s pretty cool."

The family also spoke about meeting the artist who created the portrait. "What really struck me was meeting the artist last night and having a long conversation with Phil, how much of his heart he puts into every one of his paintings. I think he leaves a piece of his heart in everyone of these paintings," said Bob Roush. "I’m eternally grateful. He puts himself out to do this. It’s amazing for the family to receive this."

Money raised from the Freedom Cruise goes towards supporting West Michigan veterans and their families.