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FDL Fire Hosts Sendoff for Firefighter Set to Spend Year in Afghanistan with National Guard


Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue held a send-off ceremony for a firefighter who is being deployed overseas. Brett Hefty – who is a sergeant in the Army National Guard – will be going to Afghanistan to help train and assist the Afghani national army. Hefty tells us he’s amazed at the support he’s received, and says he’s ready for the challenge. 

Hefty says “the specific community support I get through the fire department – and through all of the fire departments and group I’ve been with is awesome. I try to pay it forward as best as I can, I’m definitely very proud to be able to go on this deployment and do good things.”

Hefty tells us that serving people, whether it’s in the Fond du Lac community or around the world, is something he’s always wanted to do. 

He says “this kind of sense of duty has just always been inside me, so it’s something that I’m proud to do – and even though it’s going to be hard, it’s supposed to be hard and it’s not anything that any generations passed haven’t done for the same amount of time or longer in far harder conditions than I’ll probably be in. So it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to doing and I’m looking to do it with all of the fervor that I do everything else in.”

Hefty is set to teach and apply his skills as a paramedic during his tour overseas, saying “I know that I’ll be doing some classes on medical workups and certainly trauma that the Afghan national army would be using, but hopefully they’ll be able to use me even more and hopefully I’ll be able to give as many of my skills to the Afghan nationals as I can to help them out in their missions.”

But he also says there are other members of his unit that have important skills that the Afghans can use in life outside of the military. 

Hefty says “there’s a lot of guys that probably have better skills than just firefighting and paramedicine. They’re actually looking for plumbers and electricians, so actually the other guys in my National Guard unit are going to be equally useful in this type of mission where we’ll be supporting Afghanistan – not just their troops but also in a lot of other different facets of their life.”

He is set to deploy sometime in the next month, but even he isn’t completely sure what the full timeline of events looks like.

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