Volunteer Spotlight: WaterFire’s Veterans

American Flag flies over the Basin during the WaterFire Salute to Veterans. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

On November 7th, WaterFire Providence honored our many dedicated veterans, active military, and military families with a Salute to Veterans WaterFire. These brave individuals gave so much to our country, and believe it or not, a great many of them continue to do so. WaterFire is proud to have a team of veterans among our most devoted and passionate volunteers. Quint Roth, Doug Fox, and Reverend Dr. Richard “Rev” Dannenfelser have been kind enough to reflect on what WaterFire means to them, and what the Salute to Veterans Fire means to the military community.

Rev. Dr. Richard Dannenfelser. Photo by David Dobrzynski.

Rev. Dr. Richard Dannenfelser works the guest dock at WaterFire. Photo by David Dobrzynski.

Rev, a warm and outspoken volunteer, is a proud veteran who gets a lot of positivity out of the event. “Veterans and their families know the hell – the heartache and loss, the price and cost of war, and the promise and blessing of peace.” WaterFire’s Salute helps bring that blessing home. “One of the many casualties of war is the fear of being forgotten – we feel so special and honored!” We’re delighted that veterans – perhaps especially our veteran volunteers – all feel the honor and thanks they should receive, even though they served for entirely selfless purposes.

“I find it very touching that veterans are finally getting the recognition they so deserve,” says Quint Roth, who typically volunteers as a leading member of Special Ops. “Events like WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans really make me proud to not only have been a veteran, but to also be a volunteer of WaterFire.”

Aerial shot of the Waterplace Basin. Photo by Ethan M. Tucker of The Reckoner Group.

Aerial shot of the Waterplace Basin. Photo by Ethan M. Tucker of The Reckoner Group.

First Mate Doug Fox echoes Quint’s feelings. He says the Veterans Fire “always makes me feel proud to have served my country. I’ve met a lot of people I’ve served with in the past and it’s good to catch up with them.” WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans Fire brings together over 250 veterans, all being thanked and giving thanks to their brothers and sisters.

WaterFire volunteer Doug Fox carries a torch during the Veterans Torch Salute. Photo by Jessica Ho.

WaterFire volunteer Doug Fox carries a torch during the Veterans Torch Salute. Photo by Jessica Ho.

And that’s one more way WaterFire creates community with these special events: bringing together people who share the same burden, who’ve been chasing the same goals. Our Flames of Hope Fire and our Salute to Educators operate the same way. Of course, our volunteers themselves are their own community.

“I have made many friends in the WaterFire community,” Doug says. “We all do whatever we can to help each other out – just like a family.”

WaterFire’s proud of our veteran volunteers and the community we’ve built with them. As Rev says, “Hoa Binh Kao – which is Vietnamese for ‘savor the moment’ … moments to cling to, and also to say ‘goodbye, I will never forget you’ to the few who gave so much for the many, and the some who gave their all! Hoo’ah!”

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