Credit where credit is due...

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Credit where credit is due...

Postby CO Native » Thu May 10, 2007 2:53 pm

Thank you all for the PMs and e-mails of support. I've been flooded with messages in the past few days. I can only imagine the love and support that USAKeller has been receiving through this time. I tried to individually respond to the messages but I can't keep up. My website that normally receives 30 hits a day has had over 3500 hits in the past 3 days.

I have unfortunately become a bit of a focus of attention in the rescue effort. Though I know you all know this, it still needs to be said. I did not intend to use the pictoral to highlight myself, only to tell a story from my perspective. No one person stood out in this effort. We all worked very hard, we all relied on each other, we all contributed, we needed every last volunteer that helped, and we put our lives in each others hands. I was no more important in this operation than anyone else. The volunteers that drove the snowmobiles, drove the snow-cat, carried gear in the night before, ran the radios, organized the teams, set up cots at base, brought pizza, made phone calls for equipment and additional personnel, did paperwork, gathered information etc. were just as crucial to this mission as the rescuers on the mountain. I did get to TalusMonkey first, but only because the other four guys on my team took on more than their fair share of the load to free me up. I am no SAR expert. I served on this mission with many other far more qualified and far more experienced people, many of whom I never got the chance to meet.

I'm reminded of the quote from Band of Brothers when the young boy asks if his Grandpa was a hero. His reply is how I feel.
"No, but I served in a company of heroes."
Remember what your knees are for.
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Postby KirkT » Thu May 10, 2007 3:09 pm

Thank you for the effort you and your team put forth. I understand the reason for your post, but in my eyes it was not warranted :) You and all of the SARS team are hero's for what you do every time there is an emergency. I would like to personally thank you for your story as I am sure many, many, people on this site do as well for giving us that unique insight of the rescue and recovery of David on the mountain. It made me feel as I am sure many others as well that we were there in spirit to help guide all of you through the entire ordeal. Thank you for that. It meant alot. I have personally read it 4 times and will problaby will read it several times again.

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Postby FlyGirl » Thu May 10, 2007 3:10 pm

All of us who know who you are on this site realize what a humble person you are. I don't think anyone would ever think anything other. An example of how extraordinary SAR volunteers are has been given and that I am sure is all that was ever thought by anyone.
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Postby rlynn » Thu May 10, 2007 3:11 pm

CO Native-

I believe we all know that your posting of the SAR was not intended to be a "look at what I did" speech. Personally I never got that impression. However, I did gain a new respect for all that you and your fellow SAR teams do. Absolutely amazing. All of the kind words said to you, please extend them to as many SAR team members as possible, as they are all heroes to us. Though you may feel you do not deserve that recognition, know that we appreciate the courage it takes for you (and your team) to do what you do.
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Postby Lhotse » Thu May 10, 2007 3:14 pm

We are thankful for all SAR help. I want to express my appreciation as well. It takes a courageous effort. Just in case I ever have to use SAR I want to say thanks in advance! I deal with SAR a lot being an EMT for Ft Collins and am looking into joining myself. SAR has some amazing people with amazing talent. Thanks for all the hardwork!
"Tommorrow Is Promised to No One" ..Walter Payton...Brian Rush
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Postby ontopoftheworld » Thu May 10, 2007 3:22 pm

I don't think anyone got the impression that you were seeking any more credit than any of your teammates. You just happen to be the only one available for most of us to thank personally. If you have the ability, I would ask that you share all of the kind messages you have received with your SAR buddies as the words are intended for all of them as well.
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Postby BillMiddlebrook » Thu May 10, 2007 3:26 pm

CO Native,
I thought your write-up was very good. It helps many of us understand the process, complexities and teamwork that is involved in such a difficult task. Nice job.

And I know what you mean about the vast interest in David's story. It shows not only that David was a popular figure in the CO climbing community, but that there are large online families in our sport. It's pretty amazing. The amount of people that visited during and after the incident was pretty high. Normal traffic this time of year is about 500,000 hits per day. hit chart for this week:
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Postby Mel McKinney » Thu May 10, 2007 3:40 pm

Co Native,
It was a well-written piece that did an excellent job of explaining the processes used by SAR and providing a timeline of what happened. That said, I agree with the others that you are truly a humble individual (as are surely the other SAR members) who becomes a lifeline and a hero of sorts by putting yourself in precarious weather and terrain to save others. I hope that writing out what happened over those 24 or so hours was theraputic for you. Personally, for me reading it, it was in some ways theraputic.
You and all the SAR personnel and volunteers all do/did good work and deserve all the kudos you get. Thank you for sharing.
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Postby colorado yooper » Thu May 10, 2007 4:27 pm

I agree with all of the above. Those who are fourtunate to enough to know, teach with, and train with Josh you know you're lucky to know one of the humblist and nicest guys on the trail. MW
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Postby zacob » Thu May 10, 2007 5:03 pm

One point I don't think anyone has mentioned here. Something that separated you from the rest of your SAR teammates is that you knew who you were trying to save. You did an incredible job of not allowing your emotions to erode your professionalism. That more than anything shows the quality of person you are. Even when I know that your mind and maybe even soul were telling you to race up that mountain to find David you followed your orders not putting your or others in unnecessary harms way.

and Finally this is for all the men and Women of SAR it was not lost on me or many others just how much you risked own lives to rescue David. I didn't understand until I saw your pictures why they called off the search Sunday night. After seeing those pictures it is obvious that each one of you risked your own life being on that slope. that takes a lot of bravery

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Postby Spam » Thu May 10, 2007 5:44 pm

CONative, i truely hope in all of this you have not received any negative comments. I also did not see it at all as being a "look at me" piece. It was well written, informative and helpful to a lot of people in numerous ways.

Although my profile states I am a data analyst, I am a social worker and crisis intervention person first I just happen to do child welfare stats now. A lot of people were anxious and upset and I think it provided closure and some connection to those who were close to David and Caroline and were glued to their computers refreshing every 5 minutes for updates (as was I). The updates received through your brother (I think) were very comforting to people who in this population wanted to jump in their 4 wheel drives and head down to hike in themselves. I also now that vicarious trauma is very much part of the first responders experience. Thsi rescue might have impacted you in ways the others have not. Everyone in your capacity has to "let things go" also which is why it was probably very important for you to write what you did.

Your write up also was the first time that I really have seen a step by step informative piece that let me see what you guys really do. It is a skill set that many would like to have but don't have the talent or the muster to do. Thank you for the write up and I hope your career in SAR is a very boring one for the obvious reasons.

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Postby KenE » Thu May 10, 2007 5:52 pm

Oh my. No one, and I mean NO ONE, thinks you wrote this for any personal reconition or acclaim.

I've written you personally and I hope my feelings come through there.

You have the gratitude of everyone for taking the time to help us better understand the conditions you were under.

And yes, you serve with a company of heroes.


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