Tallahassee police SGT Dale Green was shot and killed responding to a home invasion robbery two years ago Saturday.
Just a few weeks ago his killer was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, and as his family and fellow officers try to move forward they can't help but remember.
A final salute jolted officers out of a stunned silence as they gathered to say farewell to SGT Dale Green. All the crisp uniforms and shiny shoes in the world couldn't mask the heartbreak. It's a heartbreak Dale Green's widow must live with every day.
Widow Deb Green says, "Obviously, absolutely every morning my first waking thought, unless we're late for a bus or something, is 'here we go again, Dale's not here.' Then you get up and you move forward, but I don't think it ever leaves your mind. It doesn't."
Two years have passed since officers were called to the home on Melody Circle. A jumpy Coy Evans would later confess to pulling the trigger just weeks shy of this second anniversary of SGT Green's death. A jury found Evans guilty of murder, but spared him the death penalty.
Coy Evans says, "I'm sorry for what happened, I just want to tell you I am truly sorry ma'am."
For Green's fellow officers, it's a bitter pill to swallow, especially when another man received the same life sentence just weeks later for shooting at an officer and missing.
OFC John Newland, Tallahassee police spokesman, says, "Unfortunately that night in November, Dale Green did not get to go home and see his family. He said good bye and that was it for him. Coy Evans can still say good night to his son, our SGT Dale Green cannot. That's the hard pill for us to swallow."
The past two years have taken SGT Green's widow and children to the nation's Capitol for a memorial service and to community softball games in Dale's honor Conspicuously absent from their lives is Dale's cooking, his laughter, the fishing and hiking trips.
Deb adds, "Often, I still hear the statement 'I can't believe dad's not here.' Dale was a really good dad, but they've found out they can go forward, and because we have kept the home intact and because we do laugh a lot and we do talk about Dale absolutely every day, so a lot of it's like he’s still there and it helps us."
Deb Green still wears her wedding ring along with Dale's around her neck each day, a reminder of her soul mate and the sacrifice officers are asked to make in the line of duty.
There are no formal ceremonies to mark the anniversary of SGT Green's passing this year as friends and family try to move on.
Life is going on for SGT Green's family. His daughter got married, one of his sons is about to graduate from high school and his wife has gone back to college to finish a degree she started years ago.
Also, WCTV has learned that Coy Evans has already filed an appeal in this case. It was filed with the First District Court of Appeals last week.