By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Haddonfield man has honored thousands of veterans and their families across the country with an unusual gift.
He calls it the Honor Your Hero Project. His gift is both handy and heartfelt.
Every name is a veteran, engraved in metal on a knife, a tiny monument to their service. Scott Durham, who goes by the nickname “Bull Durham,” got the idea in 2013 when he saw the knife online.
“I thought, ‘What a great thing, you know, I could do for these guys, just to say a small, a small little thank you,'” Bull said.
He ran his idea by Judi Tapper, who lost her son David in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. Now she is president of New Jersey’s Department of Gold Star Mothers and got a call from Bull.
“He had a mission, and I said, ‘Great, come on down,'” Judi said.
Bull offered to make engraved knives for 45 mothers, and included a handwritten letter.
“There were tears,” Judi said. “They read the letter, and of course, that snowballed because they all wanted to know, you know, can they get more?”
Paul’s Custom Awards and Trophies in Barrington gave Bull a military discount for engraving.
Manager Kevin McGuigan said, “I was a vet myself. It’s awesome. Couldn’t be any better for him to do what he’s doing.”
Bull has sent 2400 multi-tools to all 50 states, tucking in a handwritten note. He even sent them to Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and received thank yous in response.
“And I don’t know 99% of these people I send them to,” Bull said. “They’re in Montana. Idaho, Wisconsin. They’re everywhere.”
Donations cover the $35 cost. But the most powerful payment is a thank you like this.
He read a letter from a mother: “Bull, I will cherish the knife and take it with me to Arlington National Cemetery every Sunday when I go to visit my son’s grave. I will use it to cut the flowers I bring.”
“That kind of sums up the whole program,” Bull said. “When I get an email like this, it just spurs me on to do another.”
Bull hopes to send 1300 to 1400 commemorative knives this year. You can reach Scott “Bull” Durham at firstname.lastname@example.org