Fond du Lac Fire Rescue salutes firefighter ahead of deployment

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - A firefighter who's served the Fond du Lac community for two years prepares to serve his country. But before that soldier leaves for his tour of duty in Afghanistan, his work family and community paused to wish him well.

Brett Hefty, firefighter/paramedic for Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue and sergeant in the Wisconsin National Guard (WBAY photo)

Fond du Lac firefighter/paramedic Brett Hefty is also a sergeant with the Wisconsin National Guard. Next week, he will deploy with hundreds of other soldiers for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, his first international deployment.

According to Hefty, "We're part of the 2127th. We'll be attaching to another group in the big Army, and we'll be mostly guarding them as they assist and advise the Afghani National Army."

Understanding and appreciating Hefty's need to serve his country, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue wanted to make sure it gave him a proper sendoff.

"We think that this is a good way to say, hey, we're thinking about you. We're going to welcome him back when he comes back and also let the community know that we have one of our own that's going to be going away," says Fire Chief, Peter O'Leary.

The ceremony isn't the first of its kind for Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue. A little more than two years ago, it sent another one of its members off to Iraq. Safely home and back to work, Lt. Shawn Kneeland says sendoffs like this are reassuring before a deployment.

Kneeland said, "The support is here. Us as a fire department is here to support him and that we'll take care of the stuff back here while he's gone, and if he's got any issues he can always contact us and we'll help him out."

Sentiments that were reiterated when Hefty was presented with a little piece of home to take with him.

Hefty adds, "I'm definitely very, very proud to be able to go on this deployment and do good things and hopefully help Afghanistan as much as I received myself."

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