A Prescott Hotshot

As I walked around the Granite Mountain Hotshots memorial with my phone light last night, a girl came close to where I was looking. I shined the light over for her to look and when I did she spotted a picture and burst into tears. I saw she was looking at a picture of Kevin- all at once it became real for me. A lump hit my throat with full force. Without words, I felt my responsibility- I stood there with her. I’ve never felt so important standing in silence, as if to say I’m here with you, we will get through this.
She then broke through her tears with a few words. With a lump in my throat, I asked if she knew Kevin. She told me they were starting to date and they had planned last Saturday to go out this Friday. She was looking forward to it because it was the end of her college semester and she would have more time. She broke into tears again. Feeling overwhelmed- I could hardly speak. I was hoping she would give me a moment to choke my tears back so I could talk. It was in this moment that the real sense of community and brotherly love was experienced. We, as people, really are in this together. I stood there not wanting to leave in an effort to provide support by letting her talk. I sensed she needed me to hear her grief. She said, through her tears, he really was a good guy – I’m not just saying that because I liked him. He was the best and most kindest person I know.

(This is a picture of Kevin Woyjeck. Age 21)

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