BRADENTON (FOX 13) - On his most honored day, 94-year-old Dale Young receives the Florida Governor's Veteran's Service Award.
"It's beyond anything I could have imagined," said Young.
Top brass from the Florida Highway Patrol filled the room as they recognized Young's service during World War II.
But one of the most important people in Young's life is missing from the audience.
"He's with us always," he said.
On a hot August day in 1987, his youngest son, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey D. Young conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 75.
Trooper Young found drugs in the vehicle and, as he went to arrest the suspect, he was shot and killed.
"It shouldn't have happened," said the elder Young.
The shooter, Daniel Burns, Jr. was sentenced to death in 1988 and resentenced in 1994. For more than 20 years, Burns has remained on death row.
"He'll die a death in prison. They'll never execute him," said Dale.
Young says he feels like he's losing his remaining battle.
"He'll just sit there and watch his TV and [be] fed daily, of course not much freedom, but it's better than being dead," he said.
A judge and the Florida Supreme Court denied numerous appeals from Burns, but he hasn't exhausted them all.
Young continues to hold onto hope that he will witness the final piece of justice for his family.
"I'm not soft-hearted enough to think it should be overlooked because time has gone by. That doesn't mean anything. Time is dead to me," he said.
Burns has filed another appeal with the U.S Supreme Court against his death sentence. The court's decision will be made in October.