For the past week, I have stood on my deck watching large air tanker helicopters tirelessly come and go out of Payson Airport. With regular frequency, they fly to the Promontory Fire and make life more comfortable for Rim Country residents, especially those harried folks in the Christopher Creek area. I can't help but think of the risk they take with every lift-off, to the point that my wife and I acknowledge them with a wave or salute every chance we get.
Aviation and difficult circumstances can be an unforgiving master.
If you acknowledge their brave work in their presence, I'm sure they'd say, "It's just my job." This humility belies the trust they have in their ground crews to ensure a lasting bond between man and machine.
And while I'm at it, let's not forget the "infantry" that braves flame, changing winds, and choking smoke on the ground -- hundreds of individual firefighters who understand the risks, but nevertheless, press on in a seemingly endless battle. Sleep comes at a premium and discomfort, to say the least, is commonplace for these crews. They press on with no complaint.
America is indeed the Home of the Brave. I reflect on the selfless contribution of all these brave people, and I realize just how fortunate we are to have people like our firefighters in our midst and at the ready when danger calls.
L. D. Farrington, Payson