06-11-2014 12:19 PM
With the setting of the sun behind Pikes Peak on the anniversary of the devastating 2012 Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, retiree John Henry redefined what it means to enjoy his sunset years.
About 6,000 people marked the one-year anniversary of the fire at a community concert last June.
“To be able to watch the sun set, and look at the stage and see the faces of the people who survived and were rebuilding — that was my best moment, that moment when I knew we were one year in, and though the work was not done, the work was well done,” Henry says.
An active volunteer since retiring in 2008 from his position as executive director of corporate communications for the Mountain States Region, Henry was awarded the 2013 USAA Golden Eagle Club Volunteer of the Year award in May.
It’s a recognition Henry earned in part for his commitment to the Colorado Springs Together Leadership Team, which worked tirelessly to rebuild after the Waldo Canyon wildfire — one of the state’s worst in history.
As a key member of the disaster response team, Henry volunteered more than 700 hours leading the public relations, communications and issues management efforts after the fire.
“Most people don’t have a real sense of the issues with which people who have lost their homes, much less their neighborhood, must deal,” Henry says. “I was able to put myself there after years at USAA, where I had dealt with quite a number of disasters in my role. So I was in the right place to be able to help.”
USAA celebrated 2013 Volunteer of the Year awards May 15.
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