Firefighter patches, badges and a license plate from Indiana

To whom it may concern – the story of a fireman

While visiting our bar, you may notice hundreds of cloth embroidered patches adorning our walls. Each patch was left by a firefighter; each has a story – here’s one of our favorites. We received this letter in January 2015.

To Whom it May Concern:

For 35 years my father had dedicated his life to being a volunteer in the fire service. He worked for 3 different departments over his 35 years and ranged in positions from Firefighter, EMS to Hazmat captain and eventually landed as Chief.

About 5 years ago, while on a fire run, my father was inured. It wasn’t the first injury he had sustained on a run but it did require surgery. Afterwards he had a massive heart attack and we were told he wouldn’t leave the hospital. Five days later, he proved everyone wrong and walked out the door. Although permanently disabled, this allowed more time to dedicate to leading his department. He wasn’t able to fight fires anymore, but he was able to command and EMS runs. He became the go-to guy, day or night for the citizens in the area. The department was his entire existence, everything revolved around what he could do for the community.

In January of 2014 he had another heart attack that debilitated him. We were told there was nothing more the doctors could do and he would not be recovering from the damage. At the doctor’s suggestion, he was forced to retire from the department, which had become his entire life.

My father’s lifelong dream had been to go to Yellowstone National Park, so even though it wasn’t something we could afford, my husband and I were determined to make that happen. In September with the blessing of his hospice care and the fear he wouldn’t survive the trip, we loaded up and took my father to Yellowstone. My father’s life had always been dedicated to others and it was time that he was paid back.

Along our drive, we started seeing fire apparatus positioned along the side of the road and decided we had to check it out. We were introduced to the Firehouse Brewing Company. We tasted some wine, bought a bottle and had the best dinner we had during our entire trip. Dad decided then that he had some items he would like to donate to the walls of flame.

The trip was everything my father could have asked for and he continues talking about it at every chance he gets. He spent a lot of the trip sleeping but it didn’t matter to him, he was breathing the mountain air.

He’s continued to get weaker and the members of the department still stop by and share stories. I just wanted to give a little background on the man whose items you now hold onto.

We are so grateful for your service and are proud to display these items. Thank you for your letter –

8 Responses

  1. Kristine
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing my father’s story.

  2. Sue Lieb
    | Reply

    Roger was an amazing chief for our department. I hope you cherish the items he gave so generously as we cherish his service and his contributions to the community not only as chief, but as friend and neighbor

    • Luzy Sofer
      | Reply

      I agree with you Sue really Roger was an amazing chef, still, he comes to my mind.

  3. Stacy Lindenmayer
    | Reply

    Roger is the reason I am were I am today. About 5 years ago my husband and daughter were in a car accident, my daughter was 18 months old. I was in Indianapolis working and got the call their was in accident. I got there right as the ambulance was loading them up. Roger stopped me calmed me down so I wouldn’t scare her. She had a broken eye socket. Luckily it could have been so much worse. A few months later our chimney almost caught our house on fire. The next day I joined the fire department and now have proudly been in EMT since 2012. Thanks Roger for changing my life. I am a better person because of you.

  4. Jerry Cox
    | Reply

    Chief wright taught me the most of anybody what it means and what it takes to be called a firefighter. I have a lot of stories of runs with him and there is always a humorous part to each of them.

  5. Daniel Hendry (FF/EMT)
    | Reply

    Roger is the reason I am a FireFighter and EMT in that same community. Instilling the morals, talents, and passion for the field that he delivered to the community on every run for 35 years. Roger was and still remains my Fire Chief, FF Brother, my best Friend, and Father Figure… I look up to him more than he will ever know. Great story summarizing his Fire Career.

  6. Jim Snyder
    | Reply

    Just read the story about Roger, I have also been a Volunteer in Fremont Ne. as of Aug. 04 I will have 26 years, anyway it sounds like Roger is a hell of man and did so much for his community, I will be in Rapid City and wanted to check out the Firehouse Brewery, now I want to touch Roger’s items so I can be part of a great man also. thanks for the story 🙂

  7. Brian
    | Reply

    I have known Roger for 20+ years I is a great man.. He also sold the case of wine he bought from your brewary to help out and help raise money for fellow Firefighter that was paralyzed in a accident many years ago.. That just shows he’s a great man and try’s to help

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