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Local Fire Fighters Stand Guard of First Responders Lost in West Explosion

Some local first-responders were in West, standing guard over the caskets of those lost in the explosion last week. Brownwood firefighters who had the honorable task of keeping watch at their fallen comrades say it was an honor to be there, yet emotional and difficult to say goodbye to the brothers they never met.
It's the hardest thing for any fire fighter to imagine.

"It's tough for all of us to know that even though we don't know these people, they're still our brothers," said Brownwood fire fighter Ben Edwards. 

Standing guard of the caskets of the first responders who die in the line of duty is a tradition that goes back for as long as fire fighters can remember. And a few firemen from Brownwood upheld the tradition for those who lost their lives in the explosion in West last week.

"To let us go show our support for the families of those fallen, and for the fallen themselves, it's just an honor to be able to go do that," he explained. 

For Edwards, returning to his normal schedule after an emotion day in West is difficult. He tells us that it was an honor, but that it was also difficult.

"It was mixed emotions," he said. "You're very honored to be a part of that, but you're very, very sad that you have to be a part of that."

But he says it's all about the tradition of standing behind the brothers he never met.

"We've always said that everybody goes home, and we never leave anyone behind," Edwards said. "Firemen from all over the state will stand with those guys until every one of them meet their final resting place. That's just something that we do. We don't ever leave anyone. And we'll be with them until they've made it home."
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