An slightly abbreviated version of the below letter was sent to the El Defensor Chieftan, the local newspaper.
During the almost nine years I have lived in Socorro County I have found most of the people I have met and with whom I have done business and become friends, to be honest and helpful. Quite frankly, over these past years I have taken for granted that my neighbors, friends, and other members of the community are genuinely nice people.
However, the events of June 10th were a stark reminder of how lucky I am to live in a community where one can rely upon total strangers for help and assistance. As a resident of Escondida, I wanted to express my appreciation for all of the individuals who responded so promptly to the Escondida fire. The work and effort by the paid fire fighters to control the fire and protect property is greatly appreciated. However, the level of professionalism exhibited by the first responders, who were not paid fire fighters but who left their paying jobs to respond to the fire, needs to be recognized, not only by those of us who live in Escondida, but by others in Socorro County who may not realize how lucky they are to know and live among individuals who care so deeply about their community and people they may never have met.
I count moving to Socorro County one of the best decisions I have ever made and am very thankful for all of the friends I have made while living here. I am even more thankful that there are individuals I have never met who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to ensure my safety. I would like to express my personal thanks to everyone who responded to the Escondida fire and also thank everyone who has stepped up to help out a neighbor or a friend when a hand was needed.