When a firefighter leaves the "job" and retires to a better life,
many are jealous some are pleased and yet others,
who may have already retired, wonder.
We wonder if he knows what they are leaving
behind, because we already know.
We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience
it will remain as a longing for those past times.
We know in a firefighters life there is a fellowship which lasts long
after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life.
We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is. These are the burdens of the job.
You will see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the fire service world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing. Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life.
You are only escaping the "job" and merely being allowed to leave "active" duty .
So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that
"Blessed are the firefighters for they shall be called children of God,"
and you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.
Civilian Friends vs. Firefighter friends:
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you're too busy to talk to them for a week.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry on the same conversation you were having the last time you met.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Have cried with you.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Will kick the crowds' ass that left you behind.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Are for life.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences...
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no citizen could ever dream of..
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough. FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, "You better drink the rest of that before you spill it!! Then carry you home safely and put you to bed...
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk crap to the person who talks crap about you.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Will knock them the hell out for using your name in vain.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this.
FIREFIGHTER FRIENDS: Will forward this.