By Jeff Osborne
THREE RIVERS – The Three Rivers Volunteer Fire Department celebrated the Fourth of July holiday by dedicating a ceremonial flag at the department’s headquarters.
In addition to many of the department’s 21 firefighters attending, representatives from the Live Oak County chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff and Three Rivers City Councilwoman Becky Lopez attended the event.
“As a veteran, the flag means a lot to me, and it’s good to be able to do this on the Fourth of July,” said VFD Captain Sean Steele.
Judge Huff also focused on the meaningfulness of being able to dedicate the American flag on Independence Day.
“This is the perfect combination of the Fourth of July and a tribute to those who have a spirit of service,” he said. “Freedom is part of our DNA, and a big part of freedom is the ability to help each other.”
Bobby Stewart, who served as the Three Rivers fire chief for 26 and a half years and is now the Live Oak County emergency management director, said he appreciated the attendance of those at the flag dedication.
“Everybody has to watch each other’s back, and we all have to be aware of safety so we can get back home,” Stewart said.
Fire Department Secretary Lisa Stewart noted that safety is the theme for the department for 2019.
Former Three Rivers Fire Chief Ernie Whitson, who was attending the event as a representative of the American Legion, was also recognized at the ceremony.
“I am very proud of this fire department and each of those who serve,” he said.
Current Fire Chief Henry Pullin thanked those who made the flag dedication possible.
“It is with sincere gratitude and appreciation that I accept this flag for the Three Rivers fire department,” he said.
City Administrator Salazar noted that the department provides an invaluable service for the people of Three Rivers and the surrounding area.
“We are thankful for each of y’all and we appreciate all you do for us,” he said.
Following the dedication, the department hosted an ice cream social, with treats donated by the Roberson Funeral Home in Three Rivers, as well as individual community members.
Leading operations for the fire department are:
• Chief Henry Pullin
• Assistant Chief Shane Stewart
• Captain Sean Steele
• Lieutenant Justin Ruiz
Administrators for the department are:
• President Tracy Lewis
• Vice President Chris Licona
• Secretary Lisa Stewart
• Chaplain Klaus Hunz
• Safety Officer Bobby Stewart
Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.