BOONE, N.C. — It’s been nine years since Bill Mast’s son was killed in the line of duty, but to him it still feels like it happened just yesterday.
He has a room in his home that used to be for his son. Now, the room is an office, but it’s filled with things honoring the boy who grew up to be a Watauga County deputy.
What You Need To Know
William Mast Jr. died in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call nine years ago in Watauga County
His father holds a motorcycle ride every year in his honor, which grants scholarships to law enforcement students
This year, they added two scholarships for two deputies who died in April
“I love to come in and look at it sometimes,” Mast said.
The room is covered with pictures, coins that he received from other departments and even blankets to remember his son. Mast’s son, William Mast Jr., was killed in the line of duty nine years ago.
“He went to a domestic violence call and got the wife and youngin’s out, and the husband shot him, and he died of his injuries,” Mast said.
Mast says his son loved being a deputy and died doing what he was passionate about. They had a close bond, so losing him so suddenly was hard.
“He was a good man, I’ll put it that way, and he was took from us too early,” Mast said.
It’s a pain he says that doesn’t go away, but having so many things to remember his son by helps him get through. He does many things to keep his son’s memory alive, like his annual motorcycle ride, which happened just last month.
“He loved four-wheelers. He loved motorcycles. He loved to ride anything,” Mast said.
The tribute brings motorcyclists from all over to Watauga County every year in his memory. They ride for miles all through the area with the sheriff in the front.
“We didn’t think it would never be this big, and it’s turned out to be real big,” Mast said.
He holds the event to give students, like his Mast Jr., a scholarship to pursue the career his son loved so much. This year, Mast wanted to help the families of K9 Deputy Logan Fox and Sgt. Chris Ward to keep their sons’ memories alive as well. He added two scholarships in their names. Mast says things like this help families like his to cope with the overwhelming feelings of grief.
Sgt. Chris Ward, 36, and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox, 25, were doing a welfare check at home in Boone when they were killed April 28.
“I hope he would be happy, be pleased for what we’re doing for him and his fallen brothers,” Mast said.