Father of fallen soldier fulfills son's dream

Posted at 10:54 PM, May 30, 2016

On the shooting range at Fort Carson, Memorial Day hits close to home for each soldier.

"I had three friends that got killed in Afghanistan," said Sgt. Jason Anderson. "I want them to know it's not just about a day off or a BBQ, but it's actually to stop and think about what these people do and what these people did."

"It's not about us, it's not about those that are considering to serve. It's about those who have served and have paid that sacrifice," said First Lt. Matthew Revels.

However, what these soldiers don't know is that in a small way they're helping a dad fulfill his son's dream.

"I've never been bored, I've never been - you know - I wish I was doing something else, it's my calling," said father Jeff Falkel.

It's in Falkel's basement where the snipper shell casings take on a new purpose.

"I think he'd be proud," he said.

A gold star father, Falkel's motivation proudly sits on the wall above him where he has a photo of his son up on the wall.

"He's watching down on me," said Falkel.

His son, staff sergeant Chris Falkel, was killed in 2005 during the 54-hour battle of Mari Ghar in Afghanistan.

This photo is the last one ever taken of Chris.

"He's my son, like I say, it's been almost 11 years and I miss him every day," said Falkel.

What makes him most proud is that his son went down fighting, and saved a lot of men that day.

"There are kids running around today that would not be here if Chris didn't do his job," explained Falkel.

The last time Falkel said he saw his son was on a ski trip to Park City, Utah - it was here where Chris first told him he wanted to make pens out of bullets.

"I said that's a great idea, we'll do it when you get home - we'll he never came home," Falkel said.

Two years later, and after several failed attempts. Falkel said he finally figured out how to turn Chris' idea into a reality. On what would have been his 25th birthday, Falkel filed paperwork downtown to start Junior's Bullet Pens.

Junior was Chris' nickname and what his fellow soldiers would call him on the radio.  

"It's beyond words. I've made close to two hundred thousand pens in the last nine years and every pen I feel Chris' presence," he said.

For Falkel, Junior's Bullet Pens has never been about the money.

"It's supporting the foundation. It's giving back to the special operations community and I want to give more away," he said.

In fact, he's given away close to have a million dollars in products and donations.

While time ticks on in his basement workshop, Chris' death still weighs heavy on Falkel.

"I miss his laughter, I miss his humor, I miss him -- yeah know -- him giving me a hard time about being, crying," he said.

But Falkel's found the perfect hobby to help carry the load.

"It's an extension of Chris - it's something that we would have done together," he said. "It's incredibly therapeutic. I feel his presence every day, every day."

Always knowing the Army brotherhood has his back.

"Thank you for serving, thank you for what you did, thank you to his family to his friends," said Sgt. Anderson.

"His son ultimately paid that sacrifice. He did it for a cause bigger than himself," said Lt. Revels.

Falkel's bullet pens are available online.

Junior's Bullet Pens supports several military organizations including the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Green Beret Foundation.