Marines to the End
On June 30, 2013, 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters gave their lives protecting the community of Yarnell, Ariz., from a wildfire. Among those killed were three Marine veterans: Cpl. Jesse Steed, Lance Cpl. Travis Turbyfill and Cpl. Billy Warneke.
The Turbyfill Family
Nearly half the Hotshots were dedicated family men, including Travis, who wanted to become a structural firefighter so he could spend more time with his family.
Fellow members of the Hotshots carry Travis’ casket into Heights Church in Prescott, Ariz, July 10. The camaraderie between the Hotshot crew members was similar to what Travis and the other Marine veterans had experienced while in the Corps.
Once a Marine
In addition to the discipline and respect they learned in the Corps, Travis and Jesse brought a high leve of fitness to the Hotshot team. They introduced their new brothers to doing push-ups in accordance with the number on each card drawn from a deck, often beginning after 16 hours on the job.
Travis leaves behind two daughters, Brooklyn and Brynley. He was a hands-on dad who changed diapers, painted fingernails and kept a copy of Goodnight, Moon in his truck to read to the girls over the phone while he was away fighting fires.
Honoring his Memory
Travis’ funeral was a solemn affair. The church was packed with family members, friends, fellow Hotshots and other members from the community. Although Travis’ daughters are too young to fully comprehend the magnititude of the event, Stephanie will be there to help them remember how much their father loved them.
Carry the Weight
Stephanie is now in a similar position to many of the other Hotshot widows. She must pick up the pieces and care for her two girls, but now she will do it alone.
Laid to Rest
Travis and Jesse were laid to rest in their hometown of Prescott, Ariz., at Arizona Pioneer Home Cemetery July 10 and 11.
Both Travis and Jesse received military honors at their funerals in acknowledgement of their service in the Marine Corps and selfless sacrifices as firefighters.
Captain of the Crew
On July 11, family and friends gathered in memory of Jesse Steed at Heights Church in Prescott, Ariz.
Flag of the Fallen
During the service, family remembered Jesse for his humor, his commitment and his love for each one of them. The Marine Corps presented his widow, Desiree, with a flag in gratitude for his years of service.
Desiree must now continue life without Jesse, her “rock.” But she is not alone. She has the support of family and friends and the other Hotshot widows to help her make it through.
The Steed Family
Cambria, Jesse’s three-year-old daughter, while too young to understand what her dad’s death means, has many reminders of how much he loved her, including the playground he and other Hotshots built in their backyard.
Caden, Jesse’s four-year-old son, loved tagging along with his dad wherever he went whether working in the garage or at the station.
He Had to be His Dad
Caden loved dressing up and pretending to be a firefighter. But being just any firefighter wasn’t good enough — he had to be his dad.
Community in Mourning
The small, close-knit community of Prescott is heartbroken by the loss of the 19 heroes who gave their lives to protect Yarnell. Displays are located throughout town in honor of their sacrifice and to keep their memories alive. They will never be forgotten.
Link to article –