In the fall of 2016, forest fires were wreaking havoc in the southeastern U.S., including the Party Rock Fire in western North Carolina, where retired couple Mike and Nadine Masiello live. Though it burned more than 7,000 acres over three weeks, no structures were lost, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of firefighters, some of whom were flown in from all over the country to help.
The Masiellos wanted to say thank you in a tangible way. They researched volunteer opportunities as fire tower lookouts, and a few weeks later, drove to the Idaho panhandle, where they spent their summer living at 5,000 feet, scanning the horizon for smoke and communicating with firefighters on the ground at the Priest Lake Ranger Station. Until they arrived in Idaho, Mike and Nadine had no idea that some of those very firefighters had flown to North Carolina in the fall to fight the Party Rock Fire. Mike and Nadine's gratitude had not only reached great heights; it had come full circle. (story featured by AARP)