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When This Vietnam Vet’s Home Went Up In Flames, This Firefighter Did Something Incredible

To one Toledo firefighter, the American flag, the universal symbol of freedom and liberty, is one of those things.

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One of the biggest rules in fire safety is one we all know: Things can be replaced, but human lives are infinitely more valuable and irreplaceable. Still, there are some things that are more than just mere possessions that are worth putting your life on the line for.

To one Toledo firefighter, the American flag, the universal symbol of freedom and liberty, is one of those things.

Allen Skomer is already enough of a hero being a firefighter in the urban Ohio community, but he’s also a veteran of the US Navy, which gives him a unique appreciation for the values Old Glory represents—values he fought to protect.

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In the wee hours of Friday morning earlier in January, Skomer and his crew were dispatched to the home of a Vietnam veteran and found the structure engulfed in flames.

While working to prevent the fire from spreading to another structure adjoined to the house, Skomer says he noticed colors flickering before the flames.

“I was helping one of the rookies throw a stream in between those two structures, to keep that second structure from burning,” Skomer told local news outlet WTOL. “That’s when I noticed the colors waving with the flames behind them.”

Suddenly, as if to rescue a friend, Skomer sprinted to the front of the house and quickly saved the flag.

“I didn’t want to let it burn, so I went and grabbed it,” Skomer said, explaining his willingness to run into harm’s way to save the stars and stripes.

“I’m an eight-year veteran of the Navy. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction. I didn’t want to see the colors go up. I would never knowingly let the flag go up in smoke or be desecrated in front of me if I can help it.”

It was a miracle that Skomer was able to rescue the flag at just the right time. Moments later, the roof of the home collapsed in the blaze, destroying everything inside its perimeter.

Skomer and the brave crew were also able to save the adjoining structure from the fire, but the homeowner, identified only as Bob, can rest easy knowing that the flag he cared for is safe.

Bob’s neighbors describe him as a foundational part of the community, and one who cares deeply for his flag. Christy Depp, a friend of Bob’s, told WTOL that Bob had amazingly just bought his brand-new flag not long before the fire took his home.

“Bob’s a good man to the community, to us. He’s a veteran,” Depp added, describing the wonderful things Bob does in their neighborhood. “A lot of the homeless that walk up and down the streets, he feeds them. Cooks for them and everything and never turned nobody down, nobody down. He did a lot for us.”

Skomer was rightfully lauded, not only for his bravery and skill in working to put out the blaze but for his immense reverence for the flag.

“Patriotism is something that I think is overlooked these days,” Toledo Fire spokesman Sterling Rahe said in a statement on Skomer’s incredible actions. “That flag is the core symbol of our citizenship and we should be thankful for the freedom and what that flag represents. It’s a proud moment.”

“Respect for the flag runs deep within our department,” Rahe continued, praising Skomer. “It’s a great moment for Al to take be able to respect the flag and do what he did. What you saw in that video is who he is.”

Although Bob must surely be devastated by the loss of his home, there is one thing he, Skomer, and people like them can never lose: their respect for our flag.

 

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Rhino Poacher Meets a Poetic Fate, Complete with Elephants, Lions, and Revenge

If this isn’t justice, I don’t know what is.

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Greed is a hell of a drug. Greed is what makes a wealthy man and addicted man.  It’s the idea that you can never have enough, no matter the consequences to the world around you. Don’t get me wrong: Winning and achieving are great, but there are costs to be considered. For wildlife poachers, the reward is dirty money…and lots of it.  Items such as rhinoceros horns can go for as much as $60k per kilo – an amount that makes cocaine look like over-the-counter DayQuil in comparison. Of course, the reason for this enormous price tag is the rarity of the item, with poachers having nearly caused the extinction of several species of Rhinoceros over the course of the last few decades. But, as Jeff Goldblum famously says in the 90’s blockbuster Jurassic Park, “life finds a way”. One poacher in Africa has learned that lesson the very hard way. Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said. The incident happened after the man entered the park with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement released Friday. His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party led by Kruger’s regional manager, Don English, set out to recover the body. Rangers scoured on foot and police flew over the area, but due to failing light, it could not be found. The poacher likely didn’t deserve such dignity, but the search went on. The search resumed Thursday morning and, with the help of added field rangers, what was left of his body was discovered. “Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured…

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Police Seek Teens who Interacted with Autistic Skateboarder for BEST REASON EVER

Police are searching for a few teens that left the mother of an autistic child in tears at a local skatepark…but for all the right reasons.

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Life is ostensibly difficult for teens and young adults in ways that many of us adults seem to have forgotten. Hopefully, (and luckily, if so), we grow out of these hormonal adolescent years with a bit of an even keel, able to keep a cool head, and fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses.  Sure, we have bills and the complexities of work/friend/partner relationships to navigate, as well as a whole glut of strange, “as you get older” family issues to deal with, but we at least get to do so as adults with a full understanding of our faculties and abilities. For teens and young people, it’s not that easy.  At these ages, human beings are insecure, unsure, and downright dumbfounded by the world around them.  And, let’s not forget, that kids can be severely cruel to one another over the most asinine of subjects.  Style, mannerisms, and intelligence are all fodder for the teenaged bullies of the world. For children on the autism spectrum, things are even tougher.  These are the “weirdoes” and “nut jobs” that the heartless bullies rail on, making them the bread and butter of these jerks’ daily dissing. So when the mother of an autistic son named Carter began crying at a local New Jersey skatepark, many feared the worst. Lucky for all of us, there is still some good left in this world. Kristen Braconi took Carter, who is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD, and his behavioral therapist to the park to celebrate his fifth birthday, where a group of older kids noticed him playing on his scooter. The teens took it upon themselves to teach Carter how to skateboard. “They were absolutely amazing with him and included him and were so beyond kind it brought me to tears,” the mother shared on Facebook,…

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