Mike Rowe Offers Support for Son of 91-Year-Old Purple Heart Vet

by Keeli Parkey

In a recent social media post, “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe reached out directly to one fan. The 59-year-old popular television personality did so in response to a social media post the individual shared on Instagram.

This post came from a man named Eric Loes. Loes shared a selfie of him wearing one of Rowe’s “Safety Third” masks on a flight. Loes began his post by asking, “Who wore it better?”

As fans of Rowe are aware, “Safety Third” is a motto of Rowe’s. It’s something he uses to help others try to think about workplace safety in a new and more helpful context.

“What I suggested in my post last week, was that Safety is not a thing to be ‘ranked,’ but rather, a state of mind, to be applied as needed to a myriad of situations in varying amounts,” Mike Rowe once wrote.

Back to Loes’ social media post. In the post, he said he was taking that flight in order to pay a visit to a dear member of his family. That person is his 91-year-old father-in-law. This veteran served in the Korean War. He received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

Loes also wrote that he has many fond memories of the times he spent with his father-in-law. Loes described the veteran as “a guy that spent much of his free time in his shop attached to his garage tinkering with things, using one of his hundreds of screwdrivers that he collected over the decades. Twenty years ago he and I built a workbench in my Franklin TN garage that I treasure and use to this day.”

Mike Rowe Responds to Fan and Reports that Mask Sales Have Raised Funds for a Scholarship Fund

Clearly, Mike Rowe became aware of his fan’s social media post. And being the good guy he is, the “Dirty Jobs” star decided to share his support for Eric Loes. In the response he posted on Instagram, Rowe also let Loes and others know that purchases of the “Safety Third” masks benefit the Work Ethic Scholarship fund to the tune of $300,000.

Of course, Rowe also offered some kind words about the father-in-law of Eric Loes.

“Sorry about your father-in-law. With a bronze star and two purple hearts, something tells me he’s not a Safety First kind of guy. If he’s still with us, please give him my regards and thank him for his service. Sounds like a hell of a man,” Mike Rowe also shared.

Rowe also encouraged others to purchase a “Safety Third” mask. “I’m much obliged for your support, and duty-bound to shamelessly direct all those who question the wisdom of a Safety First approach to life to follow your example with a similar purchase,” he posted.

You can check out the photos of Mike Rowe and his fan, Eric Loes, below.