He's the guy next door, a mans man with the memory of a little boy. He's never gotten over the excitement of the engines and sirens and danger. He's the guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfilled dreams. Yet he stands taller than most of us. He's a fireman.
He puts it on the line when the bell rings. A fireman at once the most fortunate and the less fortunate of men. He's a man who saves lives, because he's seen too much death. He's a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control. He's responsive to a child's laughter, because his arms held too may small bodies that will never laugh again.
He's a simple man who enjoys the simple pleasure's in life hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling. The camaraderie of brave men and the divine peace and selfless service, of a job well done.
He doesn't wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities. When he marches to honor a fallen comrade. He doesn't preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it.