UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 8:15am
Houston County, Tx (KETK) — It has been said "one picture is worth a thousand words." But some pictures are priceless, like this one pulled from a tornado's wreckage.
On Tuesday morning, what initially appears to be a large tornado rolled through parts of the East Texas region. Officials with the Houston County Sheriff's Office tell KETK they approximate the twister to be a half-mile wide. They are currently working with the National Weather Service to classify the monster.
But out of the storm came a depiction of our first responders that most people don't get a glimpse of too often. Two firefighters who save lives on a day-to-day basis, but also carry our nation's pride on their shoulder--- literally.
According to HSCO, deputies responding to the scene called for assistance and were answered by numerous departments, including the Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
Now, if you are from East Texas, you know these men are tough, rugged, love their jobs and will do anything to keep you safe. In the summer of 2011, these smoke eaters battled some of the worst wildfires Texas has ever seen. A major drought mixed with heavy winds led to several months of no sleep, hard work and tireless effort from these gentleman, but they never complained. They only asked for food and water as they fought to keep our homes safe.
And just like those fires, these men were quick to assure safety for those devastated by Mother Nature.
In the background of this picture lies a a travel trailer, demolished by powerful winds just moments earlier. Authorities believe the area was blown away by a tornado at around 9 a.m. In the process, at least three Americans flags fell to the ground from their respective poles, but they would all be rescued, and this one would be put back in its rightful place by two men, who lower their head and ask not for fame and fortune.
So Tuesday morning, on County Road 4550, two unknown firefighters rescued a flag, raised it onto a utility pole and moved on to their next task.
Some pictures are worth a 1000 words and some are worth more.
Editor's Note: Since writing this story, one of the firefighters, Logan Presley, 25, pictured above (Left) has contacted KETK. Presley, who is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, served his country in Baghdad from 2005-2007.
The former E2 - private tells KETK they were checking the area for anyone who may have been injured, when he spotted the flag behind the destroyed trailer. Presley told his fellow fireman, Esau Hernandez, 40, to grab the flag. The picture was snapped shortly after that moment.
"I love my country. I'm not going to leave my flag sitting on the ground," said the veteran.
Hernandez and Presely also hoisted a second flag with string on a nearby telephone pole.
While not fighting fires, Hernandez also runs Stream House Leveling, a local business.