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Sunday, July 7, 2013

True Heroes

By now you have probably heard about the Yarnell fire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters. They were “'hot shot” firefighters ~ a group of elite firefighters highly trained to hike for miles into the wilderness with chain saws and backpacks filled with heavy gear to build lines of protection between the blaze by clearing away brushes, trees, and more.

The blaze began by a strike of lightening and quickly spread due to high winds.

My brother, a Phoenix firefighter, said these men were exceptional. That they did everything right but it is impossible to know when or where a shift in winds will occur. They were trained for this and still they walked.

Firefighters Killed


They walked into an area that everyone else was evacuating. To try and save the homes, and possibly the lives, of their neighbors.



Earlier in the week I watched as several planes, filled with water, flew above my home headed towards the hills that were still burning. Time and again I thought about how the oldest hero was just in his early 40’s, but most were very young men in their 20’s, some fathers of young children, a few expecting their first child.


Andrew Ashcraft, 29

Anthony Rose, 23

Christopher MacKenzie, 30

Clayton Whitted, 28

Dustin DeFord, 24

Garret Zuppiger, 27

Grant McKee, 21

Jesse Steed, 36

Joe Thurston, 32

John Percin Jr., 24

Kevin Woyjeck, 21

Eric Marsh, 43

Robert Caldwell, 23

Scott Norris, 28

Sean Misner, 26

Travis Carter, 31

Travis Turbyfill, 27

Wade Parker, 22

William "Billy" Warneke, 25


“There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.” ~ John 15:13

In lieu of a comment please say a prayer for the loved ones of these true heroes.


Karen Albert said...

Dear Laura,
My heart breaks for these this loss of brave men, for their families and friends. Those who put themselves in harms way every day to protect us are truly God's Angels.

Designer Series 2013

Susan said...

Hello Laura...Unbelievable sadness and heart goes out to the survivors of all those wonderful young men.

Why such things happen we will never know. That's why each moment is a gift of unparalleled worth.

You did a very nice tribute to the firefighters. Susan

KaseyQ said...

We attended a baseball game on the fourth of July and they had 19 local firefighters dressed head to toe in their gear come up to the microphone one by one and tell their name, the station they were from, and the Hot Shot firefighter they were there to honor. At the end of the game, the baseball team and the firefighters came out together and unfurled a giant American flag. So very sad, and so touching that the men perished doing what they were so passionate about. Saying lots of prayers for their families.