It’s More Than Just a Patch

“As soon as I saw the patch I knew I wanted to sent it to Melissa.  I love that I could support Julie while honoring Melissa’s father.” 

These are the words of Vicki Salagan.  Vicki and Dave made a donation to Julie’s Journey and in exchange DFDLegacy sent a Detroit Fire Department patch as a gift to her friend Melissa.

 melissas patch 

Melissa’s father, Robert Ritchie, was a Detroit Firefighter.  He passed away when she was just a baby.

Vicki and Dave’s message that was included with the patch reads:

“We are sending you this patch in remembrance of your father, Robert Ritchie, and to help a friend that needs medical treatment.  Her husband is also a Detroit Firefighter and is raising money to get her the medical treatment she needs. 
Please keep this patch and hold it close to your heart for your Dad and for Julie.”


A simple patch.  Those of of who are firefighters tend to take them for granted.  We wear them daily without giving much thought to what they mean.  

But it’s more than just a patch, it represents a bond.  A bond to a noble profession, a brotherhood and a department.  A bond to a father you did not grow up knowing.  A bond to a friend that is fighting for her health.  A bond to those who came before us, leaving a legacy of tradition in their wake. 

I can not think of a more fitting way to honor those bonds than by honoring the tradition of taking care of our firefighting family.

Thank you Vicki, for allowing us to share this inspiring story.

(This article was written when we were actively raising funds to assist a Detroit Firefighter family member in getting healthcare that is not available in the United States.)

What bonds does your department patch represent to you?

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