On Sunday, November 12th, Cypress Creek EMS proudly hosted the 100th Birthday Celebration of William Fly, a World War II Veteran whose home was flooded by Hurricane Harvey just three months after he lost his beloved wife, Mary. Around 60 of his family members from all over the country attended the celebration with him.
Note: Click on pictures for larger view. Event photographs by Richard Salazar.
CCEMS came to know Mr. Fly through our friends from the Evansville, Indiana Police Department who came down after Harvey with seven truckloads of supplies donated by the people of the Tri-State area and earmarked for first responders whose own homes flooded while they were on duty. EPD Officer Lenny Reed is no stranger to CCEMS. Nearly 10 years ago he took our Tactical Medic Course and now he’s an instructor for the twice yearly course. In fact, he was due to come down for the fall course but it was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey, so instead he came with officers and firefighters from the Evansville, Indiana area to help.
They started off by helping unload the trucks they brought and then went to the homes of first responders to help rip out flooring and drywall. One of the people they helped wasn’t a first responder. He was 99-year-old World War 11 Veteran William Fly whose home flooded for the first time ever.
Four of the officers came back for his 100th birthday along with Indiana State Representative Wendy McNamara. In 2012, Cypress Creek’s Special Operations Manager Wren Nealy went to Indiana to help McNamara get a law passed to allow police officers to apply tourniquets in order to stop bleeding while an ambulance is on the way. Officers in Indiana have since saved many people’s lives by stopping life threatening bleeding due to traffic accidents, shootings and stabbings. That law was signed into law by then governor Mike Pence. Representative McNamara read Mr. Fly a letter from Vice President Mike Pence with was then presented to him.
Since Mr. Fly served with the U.S. Army Air Corps which later became the U.S. Air Force another friend of CCEMS, Col. Chet Kharod presented a flag that flew over the World War II Monument in Washington along with a thank you letter from the park ranger who flew the flag thanking Mr. Fly for his service. The ranger is a descendant of Holocaust Survivors. Col. Kharod is an Air Force Emergency Medicine Physician and Program Director of the Military EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Mr. Fly was also presented with an Indiana State Flag signed by the officers and firefighters who helped clean out his house after the flooding. Marcus and Melanie Luttrell’s Team Never Quit foundation raised the funding and secured the help to repair Mr. Fly’s home in time for his birthday. Houston’s Mattress Mack McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, helped out with new household furnishings.
Texas State Represenative Valoree Swanson presented Mr. Fly with a Texas flag from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. The flag flew over the Alamo on the 180th anniversary of the battle.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez made a presentation on behalf of Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle and the Harris County Commissioner’s Court, a document proclaiming it William Madden Fly Day in Harris County.
But, the Evansville First Responders whom we call Task Force Hoosier were not done yet. They presented checks to first responders from all over the Greater Houston Area that were affected by the flood. The funds were raised and the recipients were selected by the Evansville Fraternal Order of Police.
CCEMS Special Operations Manager Wren Nealy who served as emcee for the event made some presentations from Cypress Creek EMS to say thank you to Indiana State Representative Wendy Mc Namara, Task Force Hoosier, the Evansville Police Department, and to Koronis Revenue Solutions for its help in securing space for the First Responder Relief Center at the Tomball Jet Center which also received a plaque. Tomball Jet Center gave up half of its hangar for two months to allow CCEMS to operate the First Responder Relief Center which helped more than 900 first responder families from all over the Texas.