I'm thinking about the terrible loss of those dedicated young men who served their country so well and were wiped out in Arizona ("Firefighters' deaths under investigation," July 2). President Obama signed an executive order recently that provided health benefits to all of our seasonal wildland firefighters. I applaud him. But many nationally certified hot shot crews go without. They work harder than most can imagine, yet they and their families go without basic health benefits. Politicians love to stand beside firefighters for the photo op. They love to sing the praise of our "heroes" as long as they can associate themselves with the heroism they proclaim. Yet Kern County's nationally certified hotshot crews have no health care.

Contact your county supervisor and tell him or her to give health benefits to the Rio Bravo Hotshots. It's what our local heroes and their families deserve.

David W. Derr