KINGSTON (KFSM) -- One of northwest Arkansas's smallest residents accepted a big honor on behalf of his granddad at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland.
8-year-old Ryder Treat received a flag and badge on behalf of his hero, his granddad at the ceremony in Emmitsburg, Maryland on Sunday (Oct. 7).
“It was awesome. We are very proud of him, he's had to grow up a lot,” Myle Myers, his mom, said.
On August 26, 2017, Randy Treat was responding to a semi wreck not far from his house in Kingston, in Madison County.
He turned around and headed home before stopping to help; Myle Myers said her dad was having a heart attack and didn't make it.
“He was right there with us when we were doing CPR working. Ryder has never been shielded from anything,” she said.
Randy was a firefighter for the Springdale Fire Department for more than 20 years before retiring as a captain in 1989.
He continued to volunteer for the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department where he and his wife lived while working in education.
Treat was one of more than 100 firefighters honored at the ceremony, and more than 80 of those had died in the last year.
Myers told Ryder he would have to earn money to pay for his plane ticket.
So, he sold milk and eggs, milk that came from a dairy cow his granddad bought him.
“I would get up and milk my cow and get her eggs,” Treat said.
The Bentonville Firefighters Association covered the rest of the cost of his plane ticket after they heard he was raising money to go.
Myle said she knows her dad would be proud of Ryder.
“It didn't matter what he was doing, he did it completely and with 110% effort, and that's how he raised us to be, and that's how he had influenced Ryder to be as well,” she said.
Randy's wife who was also planning to go to Maryland died before the trip after a short battle with cancer.