A North Texas teen is learning a new way to honor his father who was killed in the line of duty a decade ago.
Henry Nava III was just four years old when his father, Fort Worth Police Officer Henry “Hank” Nava Jr. was fatally shot in 2005 while serving a warrant to a parole violator.
Nava is currently at an Explorer Boot Camp for the Fort Worth Police Department. His family said his memories with his father are limited, and participating in the Explorer program is a way for him to connect with his father.
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“I don’t know if him getting involved in the explorer program is more just he wants to get to know what his dad’s job was, what his did was doing, what his dad was into and the passion that his dad has for law enforcement, or if later in life that’s the line of work he decides to do,” said Nava’s mother. “Either way I would support him 100 percent.”
Nava said she sees her former husband in her children.
“My husband was a very giving person, and had a love for life and both of my kids have love for life and love to give to others so I see their dad in them every day,” Nava-Salazar said.
“The older Henry gets, he keeps his hair short like his dad kept his hair short, and now’s he’s wearing Oakley’s like his dad wore Oakley’s, so you see that, the look that his dad had – it’s emotional at times."
As the family prepares to mark 10 years since Nava’s death, Nava-Salazar continues to feel the weight of grief.
“Grief is part of your life forever, it never goes away,” Nava-Salazar said. “Even though I’ve been blessed with a new life, with a new husband, with more kids, I’m happy, but there’s still that pain that will be there forever."
"Hank wouldn’t have wanted us to stop living, he would have wanted us to keep living so that’s what we’re doing.”