A painful chapter in Southern Colorado history brought out the best in so many places. Victor Malone is a retired U-S Navy Captain with 27 years under his belt of service. Now he can add service to community to his resume. His home was among those in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood that burned down during last Summer's Waldo Canyon fire. He explained to me how it gobbled up his home, "The fire came in and went to the bottom of the street at 50 miles an hour. It burned quickly and sucked right out again." Victor and his wife had just moved in to the neighborhood a year before.
Victor and his neighbors knew what they had to do after the fire. They picked themselves up emotionally, dusted off the tears and went to work. Victor and his neighbors got donated excavating equipment and started doing the tough job of cleanup for 10 homes, "We got all the debris out using all the environmental procedures the city prescribed. We lined all the containers. The roughest part of it was all the ash." Then came the tough job of excavating the foundations. Victor told me he enjoyed that part, "That was the fun part, breaking up concrete with all the equipment. Why did we do it? It was soothing and needed to be done."
As I was sitting on the porch of Victor's home under the shade of the American flag, I noticed a trumpet placed prominently in the wall of the porch. That's right, it was in the wall of the porch. I asked Victor why it was there and what siginificance does it have for him. He told me he had the trumpet made for him when he was in the seventh grade. It had travelled with him through civilian and military life. He and his wife found it in the rubble of their home, "I thought it was fitting that it should go back in the house. People ask me if I'm going to leave will I take it with me? Of course not. I don't plan to leave and this is a part of the house."
I asked Victor if he thought he was hero for the work he did with his other neighbors, "i'm not a hero. I'm a good neighbor."
You may know someone like Victor Malone who is a Wear Red Friday Hero. Go to our main page on KRDO.com, scroll down on the right side to our Wear Red section and nominate them.