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Volunteer Firefighters and the survivors of 2009 LODD Steven "Peanut" Koeser.

You folks may remember, back in early October; Rhett Fleitz and John Mitchel of Firefighter Netcast let me tag along for another recording gig. We went to Emitsburg Maryland for the 2010 National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Weekend. Read one of my post from the trip HERE.  I had never before been. WOW!  I carry the memories and feelings of that weekend with me still today (much like those of Marching with my FDNY Brothers from 39/16 in the NYC St. Patty’s Day Parade in March 2002).

I am not articulate enough to describe the feelings that I took from either event but I will say that I know I will carry them for my life. At the NFF weekend, our job was to record live interviews of the surviving families with Dave Statter. They sat and spoke candidly of their lost loved ones.  We knew our job was important … we had no idea how hard and touching it would be. 

We laughed and cried with the survivors as they recalled certain stories of the fallen. We interviewed survivors from recient LODD’s and some from as far back as September 11, 2001. All are etched in my mind but a few will stand out. The Kelly family, Survivors of Lt.Kevin M. Kelly of the Boston FD Ladder 26; opened up as if Lt. Kelly was standing there and throwing it back and forth.

The 2nd interview that stands out was one of our very first. Dave sat down with Kelly Walesh and her daughter Lexus who are survivors of  Wisconsin Firefighter Stephen ‘Peanut’ Koeser. After seeing and hearing Lexus talk of the loss of her father, we knew that we had “something special” and that it was going to be very difficult to endure 2 days of these interviews. Here they are..

Kelly and Lexus were followed that weekend by a TV crew who documented their story as part of a TV segment on Volunteer Firefighters. That show will air this morning at 9am (EST) on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Stop what you’re doing and tune in or set the DVR right NOW…. 9 am Sunday (today) on CBS.

Captain Wines

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