WASHINGTON - A few months ago, tragedy struck a Maryland family as well as the D.C. police family at the same time. Officer Barry Eastman was killed in a car accident while heading home in Howard County. He was a D.C. police officer stationed in the Third District.
He left behind a wife and twin children.
But just days before Christmas, one of Eastman’s fellow officers gave his twins a special gift to help them remember their father.
In the Eastman family’s home, the Christmas tree is up and the house decorated for the holidays. Pictures inside show the love Eastman shared with his family.
Two days ago, more love arrived in their home that is feeling so much loss – two teddy bears for Eastman’s children, Asher and Violet.
“When the kids opened them up and I saw them come out, I immediately knew it was his shirt,” said Barry’s wife Jennifer.
The bears were handmade by Barry's friend and fellow Officer Rebecca Werner.
“Loved them,” said Jennifer. “They have been sleeping with them every night.”
The material used to make the bears came from Barry's uniforms. The eyes were made of his buttons, his blue tie and his Metropolitan Police Department patches – placed on the bears’ feets.
“My daughter said that she is happy to be able to hug daddy because it's made from his shirt,” Jennifer said.
Barry worked on the force for four years. His wife said he loved being a police officer in Washington D.C. He was killed on Sept. 25 after a crash with a tractor trailer on Route 32 in Clarksville. He was heading home from an overnight shift.
Jennifer said she would rather not focus on that day and instead wants to think about how her husband was loved by so many who wore the same uniform.
“We appreciate it so much and the entire department has been so supportive, compassionate, reaching out and we are really proud to be a part of the MPD family,” she said.
A fellow 3D officer handmade these stuffed animals out of Officer Barry Eastman's old uniforms who was killed in a car crash earlier this year. They'll go to Eastman's two kids. He loved helping others including through community coat drives for those in need. #GiveBack pic.twitter.com/mtXrrzeScO— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 21, 2017