The value of service is more than one man being a hero on his own. Forrest Packebush illustrates this point while he tells of his most scary moment….
“When I was PD and I was running through backyards, jumping over fences, and realizing I’m all by myself and I don’t know where I am. And, I don’t know where the bad guy is either. That was probably the scariest. With military and fireman, I was never by myself.”
While still speaking about his scariest moment he said, “I’ve been in a number of firefights. I don’t recall any that were scary. The enemy was throwing lead at us, and we were throwing lead back. We just acted as we were trained. You didn’t feel the fear until afterward. I usually don’t sense the fear of something I went through until it was over. I’ve been in a couple of buildings that have collapsed.”
His life long defining lessons began with his endeavors as a wrestler. Wrestling was the one thing Forrest knew he was good at, and it helped define him for the rest of his life. He got good because it encouraged him to push and develop into someone “who can’t be told no.”
“You are the one who wins or loses yourself. No one is going to win it for you. No one is going to give it to you. You will win it through honesty, hard work, and integrity. So working with others is a big deal: Integrity above all else. Choose to do the right thing, not the easy thing. It will pay off in the end.”
His resume is outstanding with four years in the United States Air Force, working his way to J-TAC Special Forces. Accompanied by service in the Police Department. Then, followed up with 19 years as a Phoenix Firefighter with the additional qualifications; Engineer Paramedic, EMT, and Hazmat Technical Rescue.
The fights wearing gear strapped to his body were an adventurous challenge, but the challenge inside his head bore much more weight. He was forced to fight a brain tumor for his life. He put off the needed surgeries as long as possible, to enjoy life the best he could. He did conquer the tumor, though later relapsed for a second stint. He beat it once again and continued to serve with even greater levels of integrity.
A heart true to service always finds another venue to serve. Forrest witnessed a young girl diagnosed with alopecia at 11 years old. Alopecia is the body attacking its own hair follicles, meaning this young woman would have to face the world without the beautiful hair girls normally get to enjoy. He is now in the 5th round of growing his hair to at least 12 inches to donate to his favorite Non-Profit organization Wigs for Kids.
“I don’t define myself as a fireman. I don’t define myself as a cop. I don’t define myself as military. I don’t define myself even as a wrestler. I define myself as just a guy. A guy with integrity and stands up for what’s right. Be true to yourself. Don’t shortcut. Shortcuts are not the way to get there. Even if you take shortcuts and achieve your goal, you didn’t earn it.”
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Created: 2018-12-13 06:51:43
Category: November 2018
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