Paying Tribute

Today marks the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and tomorrow is Veterans Day. What a great time to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices made by our military service men and women who protect our lives and our freedom around the world every day.

To that end, I thought it appropriate to tie a few events together in an effort to pay appropriate recognition and thanks to our Veterans.

The Story of a True Serviceman:

I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow evening will feature a special Veterans Day Tribute on my Firefighter Storytellers Radio Show on Firefighter Netcast with my good friend Dan Frontera.

Dan Frontera grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY in a family where community service was simply a way of life. His Dad was a Veteran along with most of his uncles. Both his Dad and one of his uncles were volunteer firemen too. It’s no surprise that Dan then grew up to be both a soldier and a firefighter.

Tune in to Firefighter Storytellers at 9pm EST on Thursday-November 11, 2010 to hear Dan’s story as he and I celebrate the contributions of all service men and women in a special Veterans Day tribute. We’ll discuss the similarities and strong bond between the military and the fire service; and we’ll give Dan a chance to share some of his efforts in serving other Veterans. You don’t want to miss this show.

Listen in, call in, download and follow Dan on his journey from Run-to-the-Curb kid to “Citizen. Soldier. Firefighter.”

Are you a Veteran and a Firefighter?

We’d love to have you call in to the show so you can give a quick shout-out to your fire department and military unit (past or present) and it will give us the opportunity to say THANKS!    The BlogTalk Radio Live Show Call-in Number is: 347-327-9920.

Help us promote Firefighter Storytellers and the FirefighterNetcast family of shows by downloading and sharing the show flyer or posting a show link to your Twitter or Facebook page.

A Veteran of Many Things

A day doesn’t pass that I don’t think about my Dad and all the sacrifices he made for our family and his country. He’s been gone for almost six years now so I think it’s important to re-visit something I wrote about him a few years back as my way of sharing him with you and me never letting his memory die. He truly was “A Veteran of Many Things.”


Fitting Tribute

This Veterans Day will be an especially tough one here in Buffalo and Western New York as one of our own was killed in action in Afghanistan last week. Army Specialist Blake D. Whipple, age 21, was killed by an IED. His family and our community will lay him to rest this week.

A fire department from neighboring Monroe County has a great idea for remembering the sacrifices of all soldiers and we should all follow their lead. Here’s the details of their program as shared with me by Randy Jensen, Public Information Officer for the Ridge Road Fire District:

 “Firefighters Pays Tribute to Fallen Soldier”   

The Ridge Road Fire District (Rochester, NY) pays tribute to Army Specialist Blake D. Whipple, 21, of Williamsville, N.Y., (Erie County) who died November 5th in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 7th Engineering Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.   

The Fire District pays tribute to all New York State Firefighters, Police Officers, EMS Personnel, and Members of the Military who die in the line of duty. We recognize them on our sign in front of the Fire Station and lower our flags to half staff at our Emergency Service Memorial for three days for them giving the ultimate sacrifice so others may live. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Specialist Whipple’s family, friends and the members of the Military who are supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Randy Jensen, Public Information Officer
Ridge Road Fire District
1299 Long Pond Road – Rochester, NY 14626-3031
Office (585) 227-2123 – Fax: (585) 227-4040 –

And that Folks — is living proof that the brotherhood we enjoy and share extends far beyond the fire service and far beyond our borders. We will dedicate tomorrow night’s Firefighter Storytellers radio show in Specialist Whipple’s memory and honor.


We Will Never Forget

We’re ten months away from the tenth anniversary of the horrendous attacks that occurred on American soil September 11, 2001 but there is never a bad time to remember the thousands of firefighters, police officers, military personnel and citizens going about their daily lives who were lost that day.

Although there are many others just like them, this recent news article highlights the efforts of one fire deparment in making sure that “Never Forget” means that We Will Never Forget.”

My helmet is off to the Mt. Kisco NY Fire Department for doing the right thing when others would just as soon forget.

Check out their efforts here:

To donate, send a check payable to the Mount Kisco Volunteer Fire Department; P.O. Box 91, Mount Kisco, NY 10549. You can also call Felice at 914-241-4593 or Alexander at 914-218-8334.

Mt. Kisco FD:

Don’t Forget

Hopefully that’s enough ammo (pun intended) to remind you to thank a Veteran tomorrow and every day for their service to our country and our communities. Take every opportunity to salute their efforts and appreciate the sacrifices made by our military men and women — and our military families as well.

Hopefully my military buddies will nod in agreement when I bid you to:

Stay safe. Train often.