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By Caitlin Wolfe
For some people, 68 years is a lifetime. For Frank Veazey, it was his career as a firefighter.
Mr. Veazey, 83, was a firefighter for the city of Broxton for 68 years and chief of the Broxton department for over 50 years. Mr. Veazey retired this month and was recognized by the city of Broxton for his hard work and dedication to the local community.
Mr. Veazey grew up in Broxton and had a passion for firefighting that started at a young age. He states that back in the mid 1950’s, the city of Broxton was given an old firetruck; however, they couldn’t find anybody to drive it. That’s when the Boy Scouts stepped in. “Nobody had a driver’s license, but they weren’t going to stop us from running to a fire,” says Mr. Veazey when recalling his start in firefighting. He formally began his career as a fireman when he was 15 years old.
Even though firefighting was a volunteer job for Mr. Veazey, it was a big part of his life. When he wasn’t helping his community by putting out fires or rushing to a car accident, he was running an auto parts store. Being a mechanic and running this store was something he did for 53 long years.
When asked what his favorite thing about firefighting was, Mr. Veazey responded, “Helping people.” He states that was the one thing that was most rewarding for him throughout this journey.
Unfortunately, Mr. Veazey had no other choice but to retire after his legs began to fail him. He states he had been seeing a doctor for a while and thought things would get better, but sadly they didn’t. This led to Mr. Veazey officially retiring from firefighting just a few weeks ago. “This kind of stuff you can’t do without good health, but I would have gone as long as I could have,” says Mr. Veazey.
One thing Mr. Veazey took away from being a firefighter all these years is that bad things happen to good people. This kind of job will show you firsthand that life is too short and we often times lose sight of that.
It takes a lot of determination and compassion to dedicate over half of your life to serving your community, and that is exactly what Mr. Veazey has done. If we can learn anything from his life story, it is to always care for others and to never take life for granted.
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