APPLE VALLEY ( — Joshua Scott, 21, is on tour in Afghanistan.

His beloved grandfather, 78-year-old Earl Conley of Apple Valley, recently passed from cancer.

Scott was not able to attend his funeral. But he found a special way to honor the man he looked up to his entire life.

KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz said Conley was a unique man and also served in the military.

“[Joshua] was quite upset that he wasn’t able to get away but we understood — he was out fighting for his country,” said Carmen Conley, Scott’s grandmother.

Instead, Scott did the next best thing.

He surprised his grandmother with a framed flag, signed by his fellow soldiers. He also attached an extra special note.

The note read, “On the 18th day of October 2013 dedicated to the memory of Earl Conley.”

Scott’s platoon flew the flag a few days after Conley died.

“I think he would’ve been ecstatic. My dad loved big things,” said daughter Andrea Schlichting.

“My husband would’ve been very proud,” said Carmen.

She says her husband was hard-working and loved life.

But, he told his wife Carmen — his better half for 41 years — not to mourn his death.

“He was a good man, he worked hard all of his life. He owned several business and built several houses,” she said.

Conley said he also didn’t want to also burden his family with buying his urn, and he told his daughter he would make his own.

“Up until the last week that he was alive, he was actually out there sanding on it,” says Schlichting.

Conley’s grandson gets to come home in March.


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