For our 2nd Annual Father's Day Contest on Facebook we asked our fans to submit a story with us on why they admire their fathers. Kyle Elliott from Pennsylvania shared his memories of his father and why he admires him.
When I was younger I remember those nights where I’d say goodnight to my father and he’d tell me " This is your goodnight for the next 3 nights because I won’t see you till then.” I never really understood what he went through back then, I just knew that my father wasn’t going to be around for days at a time. I can only imagine what my mother had to go through taking care of me and my sister on her own for prolonged periods of time because of his absence. Now that I’m older, I understand why he was away for so long. My father wasn’t just my hero at home, he was also a hero among my community. My father proudly served on the Bethlehem Fire Department. I learned that fire doesn’t care how much you miss your father when you don’t see him for days on end. When everyone else was running out of the buildings, he’d be running in. From rescuing pets from burning buildings, to rescuing people from accident scenes, to battling the flames to get to trapped civilians, my father did it all. He wasn’t content to just work on the line though. Throughout his career he continued to take classes and study so he could work his way up through the ranks. He eventually worked his way up to a desk job where he’d be safe from the flames, but quickly took the test to become a Captain. He led his men into the flames and called the shots on scene. Recently, my father retired from the fire department. It’s weird to not smell the smoke everytime he comes home. I am so proud of what my father achieved in his lifetime. You couldn’t pay me enough to run into burning buildings, and yet he spent his entire life doing it on a daily basis. Always being on call, he’d often get paged and called in to work in the middle of a movie theater or while out to dinner, and we’d have to rush out so he could get to the scene. 24/7 on call, no matter the weather. Even during a blizzard, he was called out and shoveled himself out of 2 feet of snow in 20 minutes to get to the station. I could never do what Iwitnessed him do. When I was younger and playing sports, he would do his best to drive the truck out to my soccer games and watch until a call came in. Idon’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. Without him, my life would be completely different. Even though he missed some moments of my childhood, he was always there when it mattered the most, and that’s all a kid could ever ask for. He did everything he could to support me, my family, and my city, and I can never thank him enough for what he’s done for me. Thanks Dad, you truly are my hero.