70-year-old man and 10-year-old boy form unique bond through tragedy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Memorial Day is a special time set aside to honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to serve their country. But this story is about the family members those brave men and women leave behind.

Jim Moriarty and Christian Bowen have formed a unique bond

And for a 70-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy, their loss has been a force behind an unbreakable bond.  They say a picture's worth a thousand words. For these two, this picture might be more like 1000 laughs.

"Him and Christian have just really clicked," Sarah Bowen, Christian's mom said.

Jokes aside, the two have seen their share of tragedy.

Christian Bowen's father, a Marine, died two years ago. Jim Moriarty worked as an attorney for the family. His son served in the Army Special Forces and died a year and a half ago.

"Tragedy brought him into our lives but out of the tragedy, we have this amazing relationship with him," Sarah said.

They have a 60 year age difference and live hundreds of miles apart, but out of that loss, these two formed a special kinship. They talk on the phone, video chat, run 5K's together, and recently had the opportunity to go on a hunting trip to Trinity Oaks in Texas.

"It was one of the most unusual experiences of my life," Moriarty said.

Jim gave Christian this knife. It's the exactly like the one Jim gave his son on his first hunt.

"I thought I was doing something special for Christian, but what ended up happening, is I ended up doing something very special for me."

Christian shot a ten point buck, the same size deer Jim's son was known to bag on hunting trips.

"Tucked into my shoulder so when I shot it the scope went back and hit me in the eye and so they took me into the ER," Christian said.

He ended up with his own battle scar.

"He said battle scars really attract chicks," Christian said.

While the two will never replace the family members they've lost.

"I lost a son, and he lost a father, and now it gives us an opportunity to look after each other," Moriarty said.

Looking after each other has forged an unshakeable bond that is shaping up to last a lifetime.

Trinity Oaks sponsored the hunt Christian and Jim went on. It's a nonprofit based in Texas that hosts outdoor adventures for children of fallen service members, police officers, and first responders.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.