On Veterans Day, our 17-year-old daughter was returned to us after spending 15 hours in the San Gabriel Mountains' first snowstorm of the season. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department coordinated teams from Montrose, Sierra Madre and Altadena search and rescue units who volunteered their time, supplies, comfort and emotions to look for three strangers.
Searchers Bruce Parker, Eric Fuller and Tim Ernst took the initiative to search a little further out than where the lost hikers were expected to be. In doing so, they undoubtably saved the lives of my daughter and her companions, as blizzard conditions were prevailing and they were not dressed for the cold.
This painful incident in our lives was one of those things that you always think happens to someone else. The search and rescue teams are purely volunteer organizations working out of and with sheriff's departments. The families of these volunteers must undergo great stress themselves knowing the dangers their loved ones are exposed to as they go on these rescue missions. I urge every concerned citizen to give these teams their support in whatever way possible. You never know when you personally are going to need them.