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AZ dry cleaner helps honor guard at firefighters' funerals

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PRESCOTT, AZ (CBS5) -

Many people and businesses lent a hand after the tragedy in Yarnell, including a dry cleaner who went above and beyond.

Honor guard members volunteered to stand at attention in our nation's most somber moments and guard the bodies of our fallen heroes.

Normally, that involves one emotionally agonizing funeral, maybe two, but in Prescott they  needed several weeks for the services of the 19 Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30.

The honor guard members stood in the heat, in rain storms and never wavered so the grieving families could.

"Behind another honor guard member was a little boy. He was about two years old and when all the other honor guard members went to salute, he brought his hand up real slow, just like little John [Kennedy, Jr.] and that was pretty emotional," Honor Guard Coordinator Kevin Bergersen said.

The dedication wasn't lost on David Pollock, the owner of Mountain Air Dry Cleaners who canceled his vacation to stay home and help.

"Financially, I couldn't really help, but I figured what else can I do. I can offer my services and help out in that way and that's what I did," Pollock said.

About 150 law enforcement agencies sent honor guards to Prescott. Some of them needed their uniforms dried and cleaned, their hats flattened and pressed in a matter of hours.

"We were coming in here [at] 5 a.m. on Saturdays. Normally we're closed on the weekends, but we were working around the clock, whatever was necessary to get it done for everybody," Pollock said.

"This guy out of the kindness of his heart, on behalf of his community, went the extra mile to do something for a complete group of strangers and I thought, 'wow, this guy needs to be thanked and the perfect way would be the Pay It Forward program,'" Bergersen said.

"On behalf of the Channel 5 Pay It Forward program, I'd like you to have $500 for your wonderful contribution during a difficult time. It speaks volumes about you and your community. Well done, sir," Bergersen said.

"I hope that no one has to go through something similar in their communities but I hope that if they did, they would do the same thing and pull together and do their part to help out and do whatever they can," Pollock said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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