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Relatives blanket firefighter with love page 2
Stafford women make a quilt with T-shirts from fire stations across the country to honor a loved one's passion

 An Indian reservation fire training academy contributed this logo to the quilt for Stafford volunteer James Mangan.
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 1/19/2013

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The firefighter didn't feel fleeced because the women around him pulled off such a surprise. Instead, he was amazed that his buddies at the fire department kept word about the quilting bee to themselves.

One of them, Zach Castle, even contributed the shirt from farthest away. It's from Taji Fire Department at Taji Air Force Base in Iraq, where Castle once worked as a contractor.

But it wasn't just friends and family members who donated the shirts off their backs for a fellow brother. Firefighters often trade shirts, hats and patches, and it's not unusual for them to do what Mangan's often done on vacation.

They'll go to the firehouse in the city they're visiting and ask to make a trade.

When Cliff Kellogg, the deputy chief of Palomar Mountain Fire Department in California, got Taylor Mangan's letter, he "certainly wanted to help."

He told his chief, George Lucia, about the quilt effort, and Lucia brought in shirts that he had collected.

"She sounded like a very nice lady and was putting in a lot of effort to do a wonderful thing for the holidays," Kellogg said. "It sounds like it was a hit."

And sew it was.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Email: cdyson@freelancestar.com


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