On Tuesday July 9, 2013, the country mourned the loss of 19 brave men from the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The memorial for these firefighters reminded this nation of what the fire department family is all about. If it were not for the support of Greg Holly, Juan Albarran, and Domingo Albarran, the opportunity to represent the LAFD in Arizona would not have been possible. Working with these men, I realized that when meeting just a few members on this department that want to “do the right thing,” no obstacle is too big.
Representing the LAFD family, 40 men gave up a full day away from their families, second jobs, and other responsibilities to support the loved ones that the guardians of Yarnell now leave behind. These members were willing to drive more than 16 hours to attend the two-hour memorial in Prescott Arizona. Furthermore, it gave each of us the opportunity to reflect on the things that are truly important. There are no words to describe what this service meant to me and the 40 LAFD members who rode the bus into Prescott. However, every member understands that the commitment we made to show we care will comfort the families through this difficult time.
Jose Rodrequez, Jr., Fire Station 50