KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The wife of a fallen Knox County deputy is back from a trip to see her husband’s name etched on a national memorial.

Knox County deputy Toby Keiser’s name is now among the hundreds recently added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In January 2021, Keiser lost his battle with COVID-19.

Toby’s wife, Jill Keiser, said he had previously retired from KCSO but couldn’t stay away for long.

“Toby actually retired from the sheriff’s office in 2017. He was a patrolman for 25 years and he retired, decided he was going to try new things, find his day job. But after three years he decided he knew where he wanted to be and he came back as a warrants officer in October of 2020,” Jill said.

A month after returning, Toby caught COVID. In January 2021, the virus claimed his life.

“He was compromised to begin with, he had donated a kidney to his sister 17 – 18 years ago, and he had just battled leukemia,” Jill said.

His name has since been etched on two memorials honoring law enforcement heroes. Jill just got back from a trip to see his name on both the memorials, one in D.C. and another in Nashville.

“It took my breath away and then the tears started flowing. We walked all the way around the memorial and there’s 23,000 names on the wall,” Jill said. “So seeing all the names and when you get to the end where Toby’s was, it’s just unbelievable”

The visits took place in conjunction with National Police Week which pays special recognition to fallen officers.

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler also thanked Deputy Keiser and other officers who served.

“Thank you for each and every one of those men and women that have paid that sacrifice,” Spangler said. “It does, it hits home, it hit home hard, especially when you know them and when you’ve worked with them side by side it makes it harder,” Spangler said.

You can read more about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, here.