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Wages volunteer firefighters honored during Sunday fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   
Three Wages Volunteer Fire Department fire fighters were recognized for the service to their community Sunday night, June 10 during their annual fundraiser at the WVFD fire hall.

Not only was it a time to gather for some good fun and barbecue, but a time to celebrate as Jennifer Struckmeyer was welcomed home by numerous friends and family.

Jennifer Struckmeyer

Struckmeyer, who has been recovering from severe burns following the March 18 Heartstrong Fire in Yuma County, returned to her home with husband Del Friday afternoon, June 8.

“We’re excited to be home,” Del said Monday afternoon while his wife was attending physical therapy in Wray. “It was a fitting way to come home,” Del said of being able to attend Sunday’s fundraiser.

Jennifer, along with Darren Stewart and Damon Struckmeyer, were all presented Military Order of the Purple Heart National First Responder Citations by Christopher Anderson, Chapter 434 in Longmont.

Damon Struckmeyer

The plaques were in recognition for the resolute action and wounds received in the performance of duties March 18 during the fire.

A great turnout showed up to support the department as well as welcome Jennifer home. Jennifer, with the assistance of chairs, managed to walk the entire distance of the fire hall. This was something friends and family were truly excited about.

Jennifer spent nine weeks in the North Colorado Medical Center Burn Unit and was moved to North Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital near Johnstown May 19. She spent about three weeks in the long-term care facility and was moved to the other side of the center where she was doing physical therapy three hours each day.

The three firefighters were injured when their truck became stuck in the path of the blaze which burned two homes down, and caused severe damage to crop land and livestock. In all, 24,000 acres, or 38 square miles were burned.

Darren Stewart

Stewart and Damon were released within a day or so after the fire and last Friday was the first time Jennifer had been home since the horrific accident.

Jennifer underwent multiple surgeries for skin grafting on her right foot, right hip, both arms and fingers of both hands. Del said Monday his wife will continue to undergo physical therapy on a regular basis in Wray.

He was quick to point out the support they have received from friends, family and neighbors over the last two and a half months.

Holyoke Enterprise June 14, 2012