“I met Darren on a blind date in 1983 and fell in the love the moment I looked into his eyes. Darren was my “everything” and by that I mean he was my best friend. Our wedding rings were inscribed with “Forever 8/29/86”. Now, he will only be forever in my heart. Darren was an amazing father. He and my son Darren, now 20, used to take long walks late and night and often come in laughing. There is no laughter late at night for my son anymore; his best friend was taken away from him too. My daughter, Nikki, rode into school every day with dad and always looked for him at track meets. Now she looks at the spot where dad stood and races to the finish line with a new found energy because dad’s ashes are there.
Darren was not only important to the three of us, he was important to our entire Nation’s National Security. Darren was working on a simulation and test capability program critical to our National Security that provides our War Fighters in the field – primarily aviators and helicopter pilots – with new and improved Aircraft Survivability Surveillance Systems that protect the pilots and their platforms form enemy threats. This simulation and test capability, that Darren was vital in developing, is also used to develop Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (IED systems) to protect our military forces from “roadside bombs.”
Through his involvement in this effort, Darren was a valued contributor to saving the lives of numerous U.S. military personnel. Darren’s technical expertise was instrumental in saving the lives of our heroic War Fighters.
Darren was working to protect his family but Darren actually protected the entire nation.”
– Robin Tolsma, wife of Darren Tolsma