Veterans Day Thank You + 2014 discounts and deals for troops and their families

November 9, 2014

usfra support our troopsOn November 11th our nation will celebrate Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day) to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

One way businesses and organizations show their appreciation to veterans and active duty military is by offering discounts and freebies at restaurants, recreational sites, and retail stores.

Some deals start this weekend and extend out for days or a few weeks, while most are valid on Veterans Day only.

Take a moment to review Veterans Day 2014 discounts and deals for troops post on the U.S. First Responders Association forum … and please share the information with veterans and active duty troops you know. (The list is also available in a 6-page PDF so easy to print and share.)

Words cannot express the appreciation we have for our military (2- and 4-legged troops and vets) and their families … and we thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts! j & B

 


Hero Dogs Of 9/11 Legacy (follow-up video by Dog Files)

September 11, 2014

Ten years after the World Trade Center attack, the working dog community comes together to honor the dog teams that worked at Ground Zero.

Thank you Dog Files for honoring these amazing USAR K-9 teams.

Also see original Hero Dogs of 9/11 video and our tribute to 9/11 Ground Zero Responders. Never forget.

 


Hero Dogs Of 9/11 (video tribute by Dog Files)

September 10, 2014

A tribute to the more than 300 search and rescue dogs that helped in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center after terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001.

Learn more about Dog Files

Also see our photo and video tribute to 9/11 Ground Zero Responders from 2013. Never forget…


Have a powerful, safe New Year

December 31, 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

And to all the first responders working through the holiday … thank you and please stay safe.


Thank you Veterans + long list of discounts and freebies for vets this weekend

November 9, 2013

On Nov. 11, 2013, America will pay tribute to the men and women who have served the nation. 

We have several veterans in our family and many friends who have served over the decades, and so appreciate the many sacrifices that these brave men and women endure.

Words cannot express the gratitude we have for ALL veterans and their families each and every day … but especially on this Veterans Day we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

We also wanted  to share a link to the U.S. First Responders Association that has a long list of discounts and freebies at restaurants, recreational sites and retail stores for active duty military and veterans. Some offers are good all weekend while others are valid on Veterans Day. And some companies offer military discounts year-round so if you are a veteran, it never hurts to ask.

The offers are subject to change or may not be offered at a particular location, so call ahead to confirm a discount is being offered. Most businesses require proof of military service and a current military identification card or a DD Form 214 will usually suffice.

Veterans Meals and Deals 2013

Click the above graphic or visit USFRA to view the special deals and offers … and there is a 3-page PDF at bottom of the post (just above the comments box) in case you’d like to download and share it with others.

Have a nice, safe Veteran’s Day weekend … and thank you again to all who have served. j & B


Mounting evidence shows Granite Mountain Hotshots never should have deployed

August 22, 2013

John Dougherty at InvestigativeMEDIA has written a fascinating in-depth article called “Yarnell Hill Fire: The Granite Mountain Hotshots Never Should’ve Been Deployed, Mounting Evidence Shows“. It’s a bit long but a detailed and worthy read that answers many questions about the tragic loss of our Arizona 19.

“We are going to hallowed ground,” says Jim Paxon, spokesman for the Arizona Forestry Division, moments before leading reporters and TV crews to the site where 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed in a June 30 wildfire.

“They are almost superhuman,” Paxon drawls to reporters gathered on the morning of July 23. “As we go up there, there’s a Granite Mountain Hotshots shirt on a cactus. We would ask that you touch the shirt … in reverence to the loss.”

Paxon chokes up and begins describing a fissure in a granite boulder forming a cross that flanks the site where the men were incinerated by a mammoth, manzanita-fueled blowtorch. Among wildland firefighters, the oily plant is well known for its explosive characteristics. The fire was so hot that it caused some of the granite boulders to crack. Continue reading on InvestigativeMEDIA.com


Memorial honoring Arizona 19 fallen firefighters (9-Jul-2013 11a-1p PDT)

July 9, 2013

arizona 19 our fallen brothers program for memorialToday, July 9, 2013, there will be a celebration of life memorial in Prescott Valley from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Pacific to honor Arizona’s 19 elite firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

AZCentral.com reports all available tickets for the service at the 5,000-seat Tim’s Toyota Center are gone with bulk of the tickets being issued to family of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew and support “fire family” personnel.

Live streaming coverage of the 2 hour service can be viewed on the U.S. First Responders Association forum thanks to a feed from AZCentral / NBC.

The program for the Memorial is available here (8-pg PDF).

If you’d like to learn how to help the families of the fallen heroes, please visit http://yarnellfallenfirefighters.com/

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the fallen heroes families, our state of Arizona and the entire firefighter/EMS nation.

arizona prescott yarnelll 19 hot shot prayer

 


Tribute to our Arizona 19 (and some ways to help families of the fallen firefighters)

July 5, 2013

yarnell hill fire granite mountain hotshotsAs we posted earlier this week, Arizona lost 19 of our elite firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.

On July 1st a caravan of 19 vans took the bodies to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office to perform autopsies since the Yavapai County authorities didn’t have the resources to handle so many casualties.

The remains of our Fallen Firefighters will be escorted, with full Honor Guard, from Phoenix to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday, July 7, beginning at 10 a.m. PDT. A majority of the route from Phoenix to Prescott Valley is open to the public for those who would like to pay tribute, and the procession route  is available on YarnellFallenFirefighters.com.

Then a Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific.

We wanted to take another moment to honor our Granite Mountain Hotshots with several photos we found on Facebook this week, and provide some links to several organizations that are raising funds for the families of these heroes. Also please take a moment to view a video tribute by elledub1015 at the bottom.

yarnell hill fire photo by andrew ashcraft

The final photo Arizona firefighter Andrew Ashcraft texted to his wife before persishing in the Yarnell Hill fire – from Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots FB page

Yarnell Hill Fire photo by Wade Parker before overcome by fire

Wade Parker sent this photo of a crew mate and the approaching fire by text message to his mother before he and 18 other firefighters were fatally overrun by flames in the Arizona blaze. “This thing is running straight for Yarnell,” he wrote in the 4:04 p.m. text. (Wade Parker / June 30, 2013) via LA Times

prescott fire chain with 19 links

A chain with 19 links hangs locked on the fence outside the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew fire station, Monday, July 1, 2013 in Prescott, Ariz. The chain, left by Slade Graves, has 19 links to signify 19 men linked. Graves said she wanted to give the combination of the lock to the survivor of the team. Photo via FB pg

arizona 19 out of the ashes National Firefighters Endowment

Designed by National Firefighters Endowment via FB

Anthem tribute Arizona 19 from Daisy mountain

Anthem, Arizona tribute to the fallen firefighters, at the top of Daisy Mountain, looking west toward Yarnell. July 4, 2013. via FB

salute to Arizona 19

Photo credit: unknown via FB

How to help the families of our fallen heroes

The Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Incident Management Team has raised more than $800,000 through three firefighter-endorsed organizations: the 100 Club of Arizona, the Wildland Firefighters Foundation, and the United Phoenix Firefighters Association. Other similar websites have also been created, but their intent or credibility has not been verified. The Team encourages all donors to first check the credibility and confirm their 501C3 status before donating.

The Prescott Firefighter’s Charities is operated by Prescott firefighters, and they are ensuring 100% of any and all donations will go to the families of the fallen firefighters. No money will be diverted for administration costs, advertising, etc. The only exception is a 2.3% processing fee charged by PayPal, which is a lower fee than typical credit card transaction rates. Learn more

Yavapai College is creating a scholarship fund for the children and spouses of the 19 firefighters who died battling the wildfire in Yarnell. Officials at the Prescott school say some of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team members were Yavapai College students and many were in its fire science program. The Granite Mountain Hotshots Scholarship Fund will provide two-year scholarships for the community college education needs of the children and spouses of the fallen firefighters. Read more

A Tribute

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of the fallen Arizona 19 (a.k.a. Prescott 19), the cities of Yarnell and Prescott, and the entire FF/EMS Brotherhood. Rest in peace…


Happy Independence Day and some Interesting Facts about our Declaration

July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day Thank you to those who serveEvery year on the 4th of July Americans celebrate our country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

But, as Heritage explains, Independence Day is a great opportunity to renew our dedication to the principles of liberty and equality enshrined in what Thomas Jefferson called “the declaratory charter of our rights.

A tradition in our household is to read the Declaration of Independence (and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights) every year as a reminder of the freedoms our Founders fought and died for.  This holiday is also a great time to reflect on our armed forces, and their families,who give so much in the name of defending the ideals and free institutions we often take for granted.

Some interesting Q&As and factoids about the Declaration of Independence from Archives.gov include…

Questions & Answers

Q. Is anything written on the back of the Declaration of Independence?

A. Yes, there is writing on the back of the original, signed Declaration of Independence. But it is not invisible, nor does it include a map, as the Disney feature film, National Treasure, suggests. The writing on the back reads “Original Declaration of Independence, dated 4th July 1776,” and it appears on the bottom of the document, upside down.

Q. Is the original Declaration of Independence written on paper?

A. No, the original was engrossed on parchment which is an animal skin specially treated with lime and stretched to create a strong, long-lasting writing support. The printed version is on paper and was read aloud from town squares throughout the colonies, so that those who could not read would receive the news about intended separation from England.

Q. Was Thomas Jefferson the only person involved in writing the Declaration of Independence?

A. Jefferson was the author of the document and was a member of the Committee of Five that was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world the colonies case for independence. The committee consisted of two New England men, John Adams of Massachusetts and Roger Sherman of Connecticut; two men from the Middle Colonies, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York; and one southerner, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

Did You Know…

  • the Declaration of Independence was adopted by 12 of 13 colonies (New York not voting) on July 4, 1776, but wasn’t actually signed by all the delegates until August 2, 1776.
  • John Hancock, the President of the Congress, was the first to sign the sheet of parchment measuring 24¼ by 29¾ inches.
  • the Declaration of Independence is housed in a specially sealed encasement containing the inert gas argon with a controlled amount of humidity to keep the parchment flexible. The encasement is constructed of ballistically resistant materials. The document is closely guarded.
  • If you were a member of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, you were a rebel and considered a traitor by the King of England. You knew that a reward had been posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders and signing your name to the Declaration meant that you pledged your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom.
  • Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Committee of Five died on July 4, 1826. And John Adams, also a committee member, died on the same day.

Read more on Archives.gov … and we hope you and yours have a fun, safe Independence Day holiday! j & B


Arizona wildfire kills 19 of our elite firefighters + The Hotshot’s Prayer

July 1, 2013

yarnell hill fire photo APArizona suffered a devastating loss yesterday. Nineteen firefighters from the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, died Sunday fighting an out-of-control wildfire in Yarnell, a tiny Yavapai County town roughly 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.

About half of the town’s 500 homes were feared destroyed by the blaze, which began early Friday evening and had spread to 8,374 acres by early Monday. All of Yarnell and the neighboring Peeples Valley were evacuated. Fire crews reported no containment as of Monday morning (1-Jul-2013).

The National Fire Protection Association website lists the last wildland fire to kill more firefighters as the 1933 Griffith Park fire of Los Angeles, which killed 29. The most firefighters — 340 — were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

The Granite Mountain Hotshots, established in 2002, were an elite ground firefighting crew known for their innovative problem-solving and history of safe, aggressive fire suppression.

Members of the crew were highly trained, came from diverse backgrounds, and worked long hours in extreme environmental conditions doing the most demanding of fireline tasks.

According to The Daily Courier

  • They carried 50-70 pounds on their back, hiked seven miles or more to where they needed to work, and worked up to 14 hours, sometimes longer.
  • The average age of the men in the hotshot crew was 27-years-old.
  • “They have to be ready to leave for an assignment on two hours’ notice, which sometimes means missing family events,”Wade Ward of the Prescott FD said last week. “They have to be prepared to be on that assignment for 21 days, get two days rest at home, and possibly be sent out on another 21-day assignment.”

prescott granite mountain hotshots

Prior to the Yarnell Hill fire which took nearly all of their lives, the team had just returned from a wildfire in New Mexico.

Just one week ago, the same crew also led the charge against the massive Doce fire in the Prescott National Forest.

We’d like to take a moment to extend our condolences to the elite fallen firefighters, their families, the cities of Yarnell and Prescott and the entire firefighter nation. Words can never adequately express the gratitude we have for all first responders who sacrifice so much to help keep us safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this and other wildfires ravaging the nation. Bill & Janet Liebsch, FedHealth, Tucson AZ

iaff logo used on yarnell prescott arizona 19 memorial program

arizona prescott yarnell 19 hot shot prayer

prescott arizona firefighters killed yarnell hill fire


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