Those that serve.
They are unique. Self-sacrificial. And absolutely inspiring in every way. Military. Civil Service. Intelligence Agencies. Police Officers. Firemen. They all are fundamentally givers, sometimes they give it all.
I served close to 8 years in the U.S. Air Force, having gone on active duty two months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. While I was already headed into the military before 9/11, that event changed the course of my life and has molded the person I have become today. Part of that change was the deeply rooted appreciation I garnered for my fellow servicemen and women and for all those that serve their communities. An extra poignant branch of service for me was always the FIRE FIGHTER.
My step-father was a Fire Fighter for over 26 years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and retired as a Captain. Many don't realize this, but I saw a very real shift in our relationship when 9/11 happened. We were connected in the way that service people usually are and we understood the sacrifices being made when others didn't. I was going off to fight those that had taken so many of his 'brothers' on that fateful day. It took our relationship to a new level of friendship and simple understanding. It meant the world to me.
Tommy passed away this past March, shy of his 61st birthday. It was a very sudden and shocking experience for all of us. Most of us are still trying to make sense of it and perhaps trying to get an accurate perception of what time used to be like before. Yet, he is in heaven with our heavenly Father and that in itself comforts me.
So, for the passing of 9/11 this year, I wanted to do something special to honor all those lost on 9/11 and since then, fighting against those that would harm us. I specifically wanted to shoot a fireman in honor of my step-dad. I found that opportunity in some new friends here in Texas, Danny & Chelle, who have recently had another baby girl. Coincidentally, Danny is a firefighter. It was seriously for me, a God moment. I had to get this shot!
Thank you Danny, Chelle, Hay and baby Brea! You made my heart's inspiration for that day a reality! And a big THANK YOU to all those that serve at home and abroad.
Amor y Pura Vida,