BRYAN, Texas – International support continues to pour in for two Bryan firefighters severely burned while battling a blaze earlier this year at a building in downtown.
According to a report by KBTX, Lt. Chris Framsted and A.J. Jarrett with the South Brazos County Fire Department have been collecting coins from all over the world for Bryan firefighters, Ricky Mantey Jr. and Mitch Moran.
The coins, known as “challenge coins,” have been sent in from as far away as Afghanistan. The challenge coin tradition started in World War I as a way for U.S. pilots to identify themselves on foreign soil.
“To own one is an honor, to give one up is a much higher honor to give your challenge coin to another firefighter,” Framsted said.
Framsted and Jarrett delivered a book of 150 coins to each of the Bryan firefighters, who are still in Galveston recovering from second- and third-degree burns.
“It’s amazing. Words can’t describe how I feel right now with all of this. The coins...they are amazing,” Mantey said.
It is hard for the firefighters to talk, but Moran’s sentiments echoed what Mantey said.
“It’s an honor. I’m shocked; it’s an honor to get what I am getting right now,” Moran said.
Two other Bryan firefighters, Lt. Eric Wallace and Lt. Gregory Pickard, died from the injuries they sustained while battling the fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall.