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An open letter from Darryl Christian

by Darryl Christian (NCSB '74) |

National Smokejumper Association:

I would like to thank the National Smokejumper Association for their generous donation of $500 to help my family restore our home after it was flooded. The flood of the Chehalis River that occurred December 3rd was a catastrophic event for many families in our area of Southwest Washington. We had 14 inches of water in our home, luckily we have an upstairs that we were able to carry many of our belongings out of harms way. The sadness for many families is that the flood occurred during the holiday season and that it takes many months to get back to normalcy.

As of today we are living on CDX plywood in our lower level. The only furniture being a kitchen range and refrigerator in our living room is a daily reminder of jobs that need to be accomplished. We are so grateful that you and other caring and giving people have come forward to help our community.

There is something to the phrase on the smokejumper home page "the best job I ever had". I have always felt the closeness of the "brotherhood" of smokejumpers. Last fall at the smokejumper reunion at NCSB, I was overwhelmed by the warmth I felt as I visited with past jumpers and friends. I felt so welcomed by my past friends and the phrase "we were hoping you would come to the reunion" is something that can not be taken away. There is a bond between smokejumpers, that is not always achieved in many of our jobs and careers that we may have had after our unique experiences of being a "smokejumper".

Once you are a smokejumper, you are always a part of that family. Thank you for thinking of me, I think of you often.

Darryl Christian (Zeke)

NCSB '74