THIS is what IT is all about…

This, my Brothers and Sisters, is what it is all about…all the travel, all the time posting on, all of the conversations, messages, texts, phone calls, emails, and everything else…This sums up why I spend the time doing what I do…

A couple of Brothers called me last night on their way back from Richmond. They wanted to get together for a beer with Captain Wines and I. Unfortunately, Willie was working. 

Derek Thompson and Kelly Stoots were travelling back from completing the Richmond 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and called to get together. Apparently they had a great experience climbing and wanted to share it with us. I was pumped.

Two Videos of the Climb are Below

I invited them to my house for a beer. I could have met them out and we could have shared a beer at a bar somewhere, instead I fired up the ole firepit and told my wife that some guys were coming over for a beer. I would rather drink in the comfort of my own home than a bar anytime.

Kelly is a Roanoke County Firefighter on A-shift at #5. Derek is a firefighter in Pulaski County at the Fairlawn Volunteer Fire Department. I had met Kelly one time at the gym, he recognized me and introduced himself. I had never met Derek.

The guys showed up at the house and we enjoyed a couple of beers while they told me about their climbing experience and I shared thoughts on mine.

The stories, the camaraderie, the Brotherhood…that is why I do what I do.

These two guys could have got back into town and gone home to get rest, hit the bars downtown, hung out with other friends, or any number of other things, BUT INSTEAD they thought of Captain Wines and I and how they wanted to hang out and talk about their experience…I was honored.

These guys get it, like all the other Brothers who Captain Wines and I surround ourselves with, they understand the Brotherhood…

Of course…maybe they just wanted free beer?

One other note: The Richmond 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb had 343 participants…what a great tribute to the 343 who climbed and never made it home.

Nick Watkins, Kelly Stoots, and Derek Thompson after completing the Richmond 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. Nick is a Spotsylvania, VA Firefighter they climbed with.