Salute The Badge: Brother’s Keepers

Local

70 kids from all over the United States made their way recently to Scottsville, Texas  for a unique camp.

They range in age from 4 to 17. The camp comes at no cost to their families.

Many keep coming back because they love the familiar faces.

“A lot of them feel like they are different because they been burned,” said David Massey, the Vice President of the Tyler, Texas Chapter of Brother’s Keepers. A motorcycle club comprised of current and former firefighters and their spouses.

Massey adds, “But after a day or two of the camp, they realize they are just everyday kids.”

The camp is called “Camp I’m Still Me” and it helps children who’ve suffered burns on their bodies.
 
This week, the Brother’s Keepers from Shreveport and Tyler visited the kids, some of whom they saved.

“When we started the camp, the firefighters were the original counselors that helped us corral all the kids and actually take care of them and make sure they were safe,” said Dr. Kevin Sittig, Chief Medical Officer at University Health

Dr. Sitting founded the camp 27 years ago.

“There’s nothing like it in the world when a kid comes up and hugs your neck and says thank you,” said Damon Johnson, the President of the Shreveport Brother’s Keepers Chapter. “[They] get to play on our motorcycles and rev up, and they just love seeing us show up.”

Johnson and his chapter have been making donations to the camp for 15 years.

Next to riding, fundraising if their favorite activity.

This year Brother’s Keepers presented a $92,000 check to the camp.

A generous donation that’ll help keep the camp going next year.

It’s a gift from the heart.

“It’s recovery for us,” said Johnson. “You see them get hurt. It helps us recover from doing our job.”

“The kids learn they are not a burn victim,” said Massey. “They are a burn survivors.”

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