Another Mountain Shadows memory

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The ostensible words of former U.S. Air Force Academy instructor Ken "K-Bar" Barker — which may, or may not, have left me a little moist of face — via this reddit post:


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As I walked around the side of the house I could see where the fire had gotten within less than three feet of my son's bedroom window. I glanced in the window and could see that it had gotten so hot that it melted the paint off the arm of the rocking chair that I sat in to read nursery rhymes to my kids. The only thing I could think was how could the fire get so close and not burn my house. As I turned to walk around to the front of the house I saw something that will be etched in my memory forever; the boot print of a firefighter. That is when it hit me. It wasn't luck that saved my home, but heroism. Brave firefighters were behind my home keeping the flames from destroying 50 years of memories. I was humbled, and still had no words.

As I reached the front door of my home I saw one thing out of place. There was a wrought iron fish that normally sat in the corner now sitting on my doormat. When I got closer I saw there was a piece of paper under it. What I found I will never forget and it will be framed and hung in my home once this craziness is over. It was a hand-written note on a piece of small spiral notebook paper that read, "We removed one dead chicken from your coop. We gave them food and H2O." It was signed Montana Firefighters. Those words I will remember forever. ...

As my wife and I closed up the house, getting ready to return to our hotel, a fire Marshall's vehicle came up the street. As I walked over to flag him down my throat tightened, my eyes watered, and I tried to come up with how to thank him. As he stopped I stuck my hand in the window to shake his. I could not speak. The only word that would come out was so much less than he deserved that I was embarrassed to say it. Thanks.

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