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A strong, good willed, open-minded, patient, listener but most importantly supporter walks into the room. This is a person with integrity, with values, a person who puts themselves second and lives to help and support others. No, I’m not talking about the Fireman, I’m talking about the Fireman’s wife.

I was driving the other day and was listening to the radio and the song “Cheerleader” by OMI came on. As I was about to change it I decided to listen to the words for a minute and it made me instantly realize how truly lucky I am.

My wife is a strong person, she waits patiently at home while I’m on shift, and as a result she only sees me half the days in the year. She is there when I come back from a bad shift, she doesn’t ask what happened but she sees that she needs to be there to comfort me. She’s there to listen to me as I unload about a personality conflict with a co-worker or a supervisor as if she’s my own personal punching bag. She is there to give me the advice that I want to hear but most importantly she’s there to give me the advice that I need. She spends the better part of her nights alone in bed while I’m on shift. She plays mom & dad because I have to work. She hasn’t worked in the fire house or volunteered but she understands my passion, she knows about the brotherhood and though she feels she’s always having to share me, she selflessly allows everyone else to have a part of me. She moved seven hours away from her family and home just so I could start my career in my first paid station. She makes sure my uniform is clean and neat, so that I can look my best because in her eyes I am the best. She goes with me to the hospital or to the funerals even though it is a constant reminder of the very possibility that could be me one day. She proudly wears her “Fireman’s Wife” shirt or sweat pants and drives around her car with my IAFF sticker on the back window all because she is just as proud as I am that it’s on there. She has a picture of me in my gear on her desk at work and tells everyone “that’s my fireman.”  She calls while I’m on shift and can tell just by the sound of my voice how it’s going without even having to ask. She supports me, she defends me, and she worries about me because she loves me.

We as fireman are always thanked for what we do, people always say about the sacrifices we make or how selfless we are. Never do the people thank our wives, our wives are more selfless than us, and they live for us so that we can live to be fireman. They raise our kids, they fix things around the house, they deal with our good and bad days, and they make sacrifices daily. There’s an old saying “behind every great man, there’s a woman.” I say that man couldn’t be great without the love and support of that GREAT woman. Our wives are our rocks, they are there for all our emotions. The good and bad, the thick and thin, in sickness & in health; they are there. If you’re a fireman go home after your shift and kiss that wonderful woman who has supported you through this amazing journey, say thank you, thank her for everything; being an amazing mother, an amazing wife and for being your hero because she lives selflessly so that you can serve your purpose. “I think that I found myself a cheerleader, she is always right there when I need her.”

Dave McGlynn

Passion in Leading, LLC

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