On May 10, 2008, the man and his daughter went to a sports game, where he took a picture of Cindy that he kept in his wallet.
The following year, the man was flying a plane over Lian Yu, whereupon a missile shot it down, causing him to crash. Sara Lance helped pull him out of the wreck, but the man was mortally wounded. Knowing he wouldn't survive and not wanting his daughter to be alone, the man asked Sara to look after his daughter. He gave Sara the photograph of Cindy from the sports game they attended together. The man then succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
After returning to Starling City, Sara would honor the promise she made to the man by keeping an eye on and looking after Cindy, resulting in the two becoming close friends (though she kept her association with Cindy's father secret).