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  1. #1

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    Default They are Heroes all... God bless the Arizona 19

    http://www.today.com/news/ariz-firef...oes-6C10512259

    Holding back tears, Juliann Ashcraft described text messages and photos she and her husband exchanged just before he died.

    Nineteen men, members of an elite "Hotshot" team, died Sunday battling the out-of-control wildfire Sunday outside Yarnell, Ariz.

    Andrew Ashcraft sent this text to his wife, Juliann, just before he perished in a blaze Sunday.
    Courtesy of Juliann Ashcraft

    Andrew Ashcraft texted this photo to his wife, Juliann, just before he perished in a blaze Sunday.

    Her husband, Andrew, 29, was a former “rookie of the year” on the team and the father of four children, all younger than the age of 6.

    While her husband was on a break during the early stages of battling a massive fire on Sunday, Ashcraft said she texted pictures of their kids swimming. He sent back a picture of the fire, which he described as “wild,” that would ultimately claim his life.

    “He sent a photo of where he was sitting and what the fire looked like for them, at their lunch spot,” Ashcraft said on TODAY Tuesday. “It still did not look as catastrophic as it turned out to be, but it was interesting to have that perspective, to know what life was like for him on the fire lines and know what he risked day in and day out.”

    She responded by asking whether he and his crew would be sleeping in the field that night.



    Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was dad to four kids.

    “Of course, there was no reply," she said. "They all laid out there that night."

    Officials have called the fire the worst wildland tragedy in 80 years.


    The elite team, Ashcraft said, were like a family.

    “They were heroes in our home, they were heroes in our community," she said. "They were heroes to the people that they helped there. Our kids will remember them as heroes as well.”

    “It was everything to him. Outside of the love he shared for his family members, hotshot firefighting was his life,” his wife said. “He had his priorities in line, but when he was there, he would tell me, ‘They say jump and I’d say, how high.’ Their main goal was to save lives.


    "They loved what they did. These men worked together," she said. "They lived together, they fought fires together, and they died together doing what they loved."
    God bless these men and their families.
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  2. #2

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    Thank you John for bringing this tragedy to our attention. These brave 19 young men were heroes and part of an elite" band of brothers" who were willing to put themselves on the front line of fighting the most dangerous fires. God Bless each one of them and all of their families during this most difficult time.

  3. #3

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    Agree, and the amount of appreciation from Arizonans to these brave firefighters can't be measured. GodSpeed, and thank you. I have a number of nephews that are wild fire--fire fighters, some particpiated during the Monument fire, along with a water truck.

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  4. #4

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    43 looks at this thread and only 2 choose to leave a comment.... wow.
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    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

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    Brave souls who have earned respect. I hope their families can find peace.

  6. #6

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    God bless them and their families. Such a tragedy for those brave men. Hopefully someone will set up a fund for their families.

  7. #7

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    Such a sad thing that happened. Prayers for all the families & friends. It hurts to think of this kind of tragic loss

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    43 looks at this thread and only 2 choose to leave a comment.... wow.
    i think alot are still in AWE about this. I learnt of tragedy last night. I saw this thread earlier this evening and didnt open it up because sometimes it takes time to process all the bad things that happen. Its so heartbreaking to absorb all that happens around us. We all have to try not to take it personal-and thats hard for me too

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    Yeah this one is real sad.. real tragic and mind blowing.

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    Tragic.....may they all RIP.

  11. #11

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    Terrible, terrible tragedy. Can't imagine what it must have been like for them.
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