Vietnam veteran gives his Bronze Star medal to a boy fighting cancer

In an undated photo, Rowan Shaw and his mother, Kendall, watch from their front window as a rolling river of police, fire and other first responders streams past their Warwick, R.I. home.


By JACK PERRY | Providence Journal | Published: March 19, 2021

WARWICK, R.I. (Tribune News Service) — A Warwick boy fighting cancer has received some special gifts from a Vietnam veteran, according to the Warwick police.

The police have been collecting police and fire patches for Rowan Shaw, 2½, who is being treated for high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that produces fast-growing tumors.

Patches from the FBI, and public safety departments in New York and Detroit, many states and "some amazing local departments" have recently been sent to the Warwick Police Department for Rowan.

But it was a gift from retired U.S. Army Sgt. Charlie Trent that really moved police officers behind the effort. The veteran delivered a Bronze Star and his chevron for Rowan.

"This is the most heartfelt, humbling gift we’ve received for Rowan," the police said in a Facebook post.

Many people from the Warwick community and beyond have shown support for Rowan. Earlier this month, public safety officials from around Rhode Island, and some from Massachusetts, paraded their vehicles past Rowan's house with lights flashing.

"At this point in our journey, not many things bring us to tears anymore," the police said in their post.


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