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I love it when a guy says really stupid stuff, especially when a really smart guy says really stupid stuff. Check this quote out below.

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.
This was written by Hesiod, the father of Greek didactic poetry in 700 B.C.

Now you know who the first guy to say when I was a boy was. Okay, this Hesiod guy is not riding senior man on Engine 34 for the last 29 years, but some lame version of that same dribble is spewed out in conferences, fire halls, and station kitchen tables almost everyday by someone, maybe not as eloquently as this old Greek, but with the same intentions. Complete unwarranted garbage about our future firefighters about our sons and daughters.

Now, fast forward two thousand and seven years to FDIC, where I met a really great guy, Doug Heydon. Doug and I visited together about our love of FDIC and the fire service (which is really the same thing). Like most dads, we both shared stories of our heroes, who just happen to be our sons. Doug was really moved by the story I told of firefighter Ward Parker, who rescued my youngest son Evan last winter in Aspen.

But today let's visit for a minute on our other boys. My son Dean is in his final training as a naval aviator and Andrew, Doug's son, is returning to duty in Iraq. Our boys are not unusual for this this new generation, so please read Andrew's story here and then you will have many things to thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Andrew served our country in the United States Army 1st Stryker Brigade, 23 Infantry, Operation Iraqi Freedom, returned, and was honorably discharged in 2005 to pursue his firefighter-EMT career. Andrew knows what it means when we say we belong to everyone.

Since his discahrge from the Army, Andrew has served his community in various capacities as a volunteer firefighter, EMT, on technical and swift water rescue teams, all the time while studying for his Firefighter 1 and 2 designations. You see, this warfighter, this hero, is another firefighter's kid who is going to take this fire service places it has been dreaming of going for years. In case you haven't figured it out yet, about the only thing in this new generation which needs fixing is the old fools who can't recognize these kids' greatness.

Andrew has been called back to active duty from the Inactive Ready Reserves and is placing his firefighting career on hold; once again he belongs to the Army. Once again he is voluntarily returning to serve our country. When Doug's department heard of Andrew's redeployment, they rallied to provide him an incredible farewell. If you would take a moment and review the following URL, you will see this extraordinary show of appreciation for his service by the Clallam County Fire District.
(Andrew is catching a coveted FF coin tossed by Assistant Chief Andrews)
(Contains a tribute produced by Clallam County Fire District #3 firefighters, a large file but well worth it.)

Fire Engineering would like to acknowledge this generation and their selfless sense of service. We would like to say thank you to all our brother and sister firefighters serving and all the military personnel for protecting America. As far back 2700 years ago, some middle-aged windbag thought he was better than the younger generation; it is a trap many of us have stepped in. For every idiot who has questioned your heart, your character, or your potential, I apologize now for us all.

To Andrew and all of the other sons and daughters, fathers and mothers serving, may God hold you safe in his hands till you can come safely home to us. I hope you all take a moment to view this short slide show, and I hope you are inspired by the energy and love the Clallam County Fire District 3, Sequim Police, Clallam County Sheriffs, Washington State Patrol, the Patriot Guard Riders and the men and women of Andrew's community displayed proudly for one of their own.

As we get ready to sit down in our homes this Thanksgiving and enjoy our freedom, let's take a minute to thank God for those who made it possible and for those who are making it possible today. I will be thankful this year my warfighter, my son Dean will be with us. We know next year he will be more than likely joining with Andrew. I couldn't ask for him to be in better company.

I know you all will join with me in praying for our troops, but say a special word that we get Andrew and all our firefighters back safely. And the next time some blowhard questions the character of one of these incredible young people, just ask him where he spent last thanksgiving, then tell him to call Andrew Heydon and say thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless America,
Your Brother,

posted by Bobby Halton
11/19/2007 04:45:00 PM

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Blogger Michael H. Reynolds said...

Well said Bobby. We've hired 9 of the generation in question in the last year and a half, and all but one have been ambitious, personable, motivated, voracious learners for everything fire, EMS, and community related. Even the one exception very graciously and responsibly opted out of a profession that he realized he was not suited for.

We miss you in NM. Come back for a visit, at least to Carlsbad, sometime. Bring the family to the Caverns and especially to Christmas on the Pecos, it starts this Saturday, 24NOV07 and runs 7 days a week through New Years Eve. It's an experience you won't expect or forget.

Take care, enjoy your travels. I enjoy reading about them.

Mike Reynolds, Fire Chief
Carlsbad Fire Dept.
Carlsbad, NM

Wed Nov 21, 09:34:00 AM EST  
Blogger Karl Lusk said...

I certainly agree with you wholeheartedly! We have two men who ahve served in Iraq and returned to our department-both fine young men, who are indeed part of the "Greatest Generation" of today, just as my Dad was part of teh original "Greatest Generation."
Likewise, I have a son-in-law who volunteered to serve a year in Iraq as a contract civilan firefighter, because he wanted the experience and he wanted to be debt-free and able to buy a home for he and my daughter when teh married upon his return. All that has turned to smoke...He injured his knee on the job in Iraq, came home, filed for Workers' Comp (Federal), has been waiting six months on the WC insurance. A hearing found in his favor and directed the insurance company to pay his claim, repair the damage to hsi knee, and give him full back-pay to date of report of injury. They have appealed and it may take six months before an appeal hearing. He can't go back to work as a career firefighter; he can't draw disability; the contractor has now discontinued his medical coverage. He's stuck, using what he earned in Iraq to exist...The insurance company and the former employer are freezing him out. He can't afford physical therapy or prescription pain meds. without insurance. He wants to return to work, but his former position with a SE US FD won't be there much longer, if he could get his knee repaired, take a physical, and be released for duty. All this, and a 26 yr. old with excellent commendation reports has to sit at home.
Any suggestions as to how he might fight this? Are there otehrs out there who have similar experiences?
Thanks to all our Part Two Greatest Generation Men and Women!
Karl Lusk, Capt.
Rolling Fork VFD
New Haven KY

Fri Nov 23, 05:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bobby Halton said...

You bet we have folks who want to help. Contact Joe Moresset at Family and Friends for Freedom. This outstanding organization is dedicated to helping our wounded heroes get the help they need. Contact me directly at [email protected] for Joes e-mail and phone. We need to show these new firefighters what brotherhood means. That we just don't talk about it when it is comfortable. If you have a room and anyone is interested in setting it up I would come to speak as fund raiser. We could do a day of training to help this fellow firefighter / soldier get past this. No fee, no nothing all we get goes to your son in laws recovery. Let me know the offer stands. One brother to another, we need to do for your son in law, or my boy, whoever all of them get everything we can or we are just blowhard windbags making everyone think we are brohters. I will give you a day of my best "edutainment" you set it up. If anyone else has suggestions please let me know, right here.

Your Brother Bobby

Mon Nov 26, 04:45:00 PM EST  

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