I don't know where we're going but we're making good time!

LMAO … That saying used to hang in one of our fire houses … me saying (using) it is a part of keeping our history / tradition alive… some of the older members will remember it. It’s what Rhett and I are all about … those of you who understand will “get it” … Brotherhood, Honor, Respect, Tradition and Pride.
Hopefully, you all know by now that we are in New York City. We are here with Zach Green for MN8-FoxFire. Already, it’s been a GREAT trip and we’ve had a LOT of those here lately. That’s where my title came from…. everything that Rhett and I have worked for over the past few years is taking off in so many directions and at an unbelievable speed. I can hardly keep up. I’m beginning to think that maybe we are actually on the right path. I say that knowing that we HAVE been but that we also haven’t  seen much result. Sometimes that’s discouraging but we are firemen … so we keep digging! It’s all we HAVE… all we KNOW and all we’ll DO.

Our trip this time has many objectives. Some I can talk about, others … not so much yet (stay tuned). First off, you all know about the “fund drive” we had to donate to the FDNY Rescue 2 Mayday Fund. Brothers Weidmann and Gersbeck were critically burned back in a December 19, 2011 fire in Crown Heights. Both members are struggling and fighting to recover still today.

This is where that fancy term you often hear us refer to as “The Brotherhood” comes in. Those members could just as easily have been us. Yea.. that could be me, you, your husband, wife or father laying in those hospital beds. Our families could be the ones trying to live without an extra income. Paying the added fuel costs of traveling back and forth to the hospital. We could have missed Christmas with our families and everything else these members have sacrificed.  THINK ABOUT THAT ….. ANY day … ANY moment … we could be in these men’s shoes. I would hope that someone ( “The Brotherhood” ) would be there for our families as we were and ARE for theirs!

Zach called to tell me that we needed to be in New York this week and that one of our stops would be at Rescue 2. My thoughts automatically went to Brothers Gersbeck and Weidmann. I told him that there was NO WAY that we could walk into that house empty handed knowing what they had suffered. Together (along with Rhett) , we decided  that raising money for their MAYDAY FUND was the best thing we could do to help.

The support we received from you folks .. our Brothers and Sisters was UNBELIEVABLE ! Today, we presented checks totaling over $2,300.00 to the fund!  THANK YOU !

You can still donate directly by clicking HERE . Captain Flaherty and his members were VERY appreciative for your thoughts and efforts. Later, we’ll meet with the families and I’m sure they’ll feel the same.

I know I use the word a lot but it was actually HUMBLING to hand these checks over. Knowing where and who the money came from. WE WERE HONORED. We receive some large donations but in all honesty, it was the $2 and $5 dollar donations that stick out in my mind. That is a donation from someone who has to think about where their money is going and I don’t say that light heartily. Captain Flaherty and the members of Rescue 2 understand that as well.

In my last post, I spoke about Rhett and I speaking at the Swoope Volunteer Fire Company’s annual awards dinner. Those folks gave us a check for $100 towards the fund before we left. That’s $100 out of their budget. A $100 dollars that they most likely needed yet they felt as if these two brothers and their families needed it more. WHAT A GREAT EXAMPLE OF BROTHERHOOD. The exact thing Rhett and I traveled down to speak to them about. Like I said in my last post … our talk was only “reassurance”   … the members of SVFC already “get it” !

I’m still on a “high” if you will from speaking at their Awards Dinner last Saturday night. A lot of you “bigger” Departments could learn a few lessons from this “small town, Va.” Company. They made a lasting impression on me and Rhett and we don’t get that every day.

Once again, I’ll go back to the word “VALIDATION” . These members renewed our purpose and got us focused back on the work at hand. IT’S AN AWESOME FEELING !  Rhett and I are once again STOKED and planning to take over the world!

A plaque presented to Captain Willie Wines Jr (Ironfiremen.com) from the Swoope Vol Fire Company in the window of his hotel room in NYC Jan 2012

LOL.. all kidding aside, Swoope was exactly what we needed to refocus.

Did you see the plaque they presented me? It meant so much to me that I even brought it along on this trip … yea.. I carried it all the way to NEW YORK CITY!

It INSPIRES me. I’m proud to have received it.

It says I “get it” and I don’t ever want to forget that or why I do … I also don’t want to let these folks down!

We ( The MN8-FoxFire Team) have a list of all who donated and each of you will soon be receiving personal thank you notes from us. I can honestly tell you that WE MADE A DIFFERENCE and again, I say THANK YOU!

I don’t know why Rhett and I have been blessed with so many opportunities to contribute to and make a positive impact on the Fire Service but I do know that we are greatful and HONORED. We do NOT take these blessings lightly or for granted.

It’s not about us … me, you, him or her. It’s about US … the Fire Service .. THE BROTHERHOOD. Maybe our small gestures will inspire greater ones from others ….

Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines