9/11 Memorial Stair Climb #5 and more of my FDIC 2012 follow up

Sorry I had to cut last night’s post short and I guess you’ll have to hang with me on this one too because I’m still in the bed sick. Actually, I haven’t been out of the bed since we got back ( well not past the bathroom anyway).

I don’t know what I picked up in Indy but I can tell ya it’s BAD.

I guess I shouldn’t have kissed that Mexican gal in the Mariachi Band … I think it was a gal anyway..LOL

The good news is that I’m tougher than I look so I will most likely survive (I guess that’s good news anyway…LOL)

Catch up by my previous post HERE

Photo by Andy Golz

So, on Friday; we opened the booth but Rhett, Andrew and I soon headed over to the Lucas Oil Stadium for the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

This would be the 5th climb for both me and Rhett. We had vowed that our 4th was to have been our last and that we would concentrate all our efforts to supporting the committee.

I think we both knew it would be a difficult promise to keep.

We have so many Brothers and Sisters contact us wanting us to climb with them that we can’t possibly say yes to them all. Meaning no disrespect to those who have asked, it shouldn’t be about climbing with us in the first place … you should all climb for your own reasons and I can assure you that even if you don’t know what that reason is right now, you’ll find it while climbing.

Rhett and I do it for several reasons. We don’t climb just for the names we carry on that climb, we do it for the entire 343. We do it to honor their names and memory. To honor our profession and complete the job they weren’t allowed to. We do it out of respect for the men who defined what today’s fire service is all about. For the men who ran into that building knowing what they faced and made the biggest rescue in American history. Most of all, we climb for the survivors. The men, women, children and families this murderous act  left behind.

Read my post “We are ALL climbing”

I think that it’s important to know that the money raised from these events goes to the FDNY’s Counseling Unit. FDNY  Commissioner Salvatore Cassano told us himself back in December 2011 that the money raised from last years events was the only thing keeping this Unit in Service … WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Brian Brush said at FDIC this year “if you can’t climb, pay the $25 donation and he will carry the card”. (meaning the name and picture of one of the 343 fallen). THAT Brothers and Sisters screams Pride, Honor and Respect. THAT’S Brotherhood!

So, climb #5. For us, they are all emotional. Rhett and I have written about them many many times. We have never known “what” we were looking for or “what” we would find but we have always come away as different people. Rhett had a great quote in one of his latest post …

“When we climb, it is emotional. The feelings I have felt, the thoughts I have had, the emotions have been engraved in my mind. They are my tattoos.”

I have to admit that I couldn’t get into the right mind set for this climb. We had said that we were done at 4 but when FDIC didn’t get 343 members signed up to climb, we had to go ( can you believe that?? 30,000 people in attendance at FDIC and we couldn’t get 343 of them to climb).

Read about our previous climbs HERE

Anyway I couldn’t get to “that place” that we are normally at before a climb. I don’t know if was all the lights, banners etc inside the stadium or the fact that we were not in an actual “stairwell”.

We were out in the open. Out there for any and everyone to watch if they wanted. Despite my reservations, once again I found something during my climb… HEART and Brotherhood.

I was sick and neither Rhett nor I had eaten since early the night before. Maybe it was that or just maybe I’m getting old. Either way, this was one of the hardest climbs I’ve done yet. Because of the layout, we climbed down just as much as we did up. It was almost like doing 2 climbs in one.

I was ready to quit before the end of lap one but somewhere found the drive to push on. I say “somewhere” but that drive was actually all around me. Having to go up and down the sections, we were constantly passing other members heading the other direction. I can’t tell ya how many “great job Capt” …. “THANKS Capt” … and “way to go Capt” that I got. I didn’t look up to see their faces… I couldn’t. Actually, I didn’t need to …. they were my Brothers and Sisters and in that sense, we are all the same. THANKS to each and every one of you who offered your support. Thanks also for participating … WELL DONE!

Read Rhett’s post on our Climb HERE

After the climb, Rhett and I continued our tradition of toasting the fallen over a cold beer.

This time, we were able to share our toast with Brothers Brian Brush, Andrew Catron, Jared Lindholm and W.D Patterson (not shown).

We were only able to continue this tradition due to one person … Brother Joe Lyons

Joe is a long time follower of our sites, a great friend and most of all … a TRUE Brother!

What he did for us at FDIC was VERY cool and something that I’m sure Rhett and I will “steal” at future events.

You see, when Rhett and I arrived at the MN8-FoxFire Booth that morning, everyone was excited that we had received a package… a delivery.

They figured it was more of our Challenge Coins since they knew we were running out and the box “rattled” when they shook it.

You can imagine our surprise when we tore her open … BEER … ICED DOWN BEER!

How cool is that?

Joe knew he wouldn’t / couldn’t catch / find us out on the town while in Indy and he was dead set on buying us a beer. With that in mind, he figured he’d buy em and send where he knew we’d be … in the booth.

I gotta tell ya … that was one of the coolest things we’ve had happen to us while on the road … and we’ve had a lot of cool things happen.

SPECIAL THANKS again Brother … not sure how we are gona pay ya back for this one but we’re gonna try.

So after the climb, we finished out the evening in the booth.

Afterwards, I went to bed while Rhett and the boys illuminated the town. I’m not sure everything they got into but it must have been good.

Saturday morning, we ended up the  show with our final 1/2 day in the exhibit hall. Everyone was EXHAUSTED.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by the MN8-FoxFire Booth for a personal demo or to purchase product. For those of you who didn’t make it by the booth, Zach is honoring the “show prices” for 10 days after FDIC. Hit the link above for their web site or …

MN8-Fox Fire on Face Book

Again, THANKS to everyone who stopped by for a visit and picture .. it was an HONOR to get to meet each and every one of you!

We met Brothers and Sisters from as far away as Sweden and Canada. Chief Bailie even returned to the booth to give me one of his Department’s hats. THANKS Chief!

The one Canadian I didn’t see was Hydrant Gal and I actually figured we would have. If you folks don’t know who this pretty little canuck is, hit the link above .. I’ve followed her site for years now and REALLY enjoy it.

Our apologies to those of you whom we didn’t get to meet or spend a lot of time with …. we wish we had more time and hope to catch ya somewhere down the road.

Rhett put up a GREAT post (as are all of his) listing a lot of the folks we met and even displaying some 45 pictures! If your name or pic isn’t in that post, let us know and we’ll get it up.

Read The Fire Critic’s FDIC Wrap Up Part III

Like what you read? Leave us a comment, hit “share” and “like” …. tell all your friends. You can go one step farther and “follow” us on Face Book as well …

IronFiremen.com on Face Book

Gonna wrap this one up. Thanks as always for following. I’ll get back to ya as soon as I shake the “bug” I’m fighting. Until I do… stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines