At his annual fire fighter Christmas party this weekend, my good man won himself Fire Fighter of the Year! As Dave's chief spoke of his humility, his capability, his teamwork, Dave's knees shook under the table, and he turned all white. He's the kind who doesn't like to be in the spotlight, but was honored to receive this award that's voted on by all the guys in his district.
Throughout the sparkly, sugar-cookie night, many of Dave's fire brothers re-told their liveliest, silliest, bravest times with him. And a certain theme kept popping up: how my 6-foot-6, college athlete of a hunk had a soft spot for animals.
Of course, over the last decade, Dave's saved his share of cats from trees.
But there have also been the endangered white tigers that Dave stayed up all night to protect from a wildland fire, the old chihuahua whose smile twisted sideways when Dave scratched his back after a flue fire, the horses stuck in fences, in ditches.
A couple of summers ago, during a fire that burned 200 acres, a prize black rooster attacked Dave's legs, pecking at his big boots. And somehow, as he battled the flames, Dave refrained from kicking the rooster into the next county.
But nothing shows my man's heart like the turtles he shoved into the pockets of his turnouts as blazes raged around their pond. He let them crawl in the cab of the engine until the flames were out, then gathered them up again and put them back. And that, to me, is one heck of a hero.
FALL 2015 TOUR
1 year ago