Is This the Forgotten Side of Aurora? A Firefighter’s Sacrifice.

Via Tom Grasso (Gyandeva)
on Jul 25, 2012
get elephant's newsletter
Photo: Fire Rescue 1

Firefighter-EMT died shielding girlfriend in Colorado theater shooting

As a firefighter, I get to work next to—and assist—some of the most amazing human beings I have ever met.  And while I never met Jonathan Blunk, I’ve met hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women just like him. It’s why most of us in Emergency Services shy away from the word “hero.” We know so many of them.

He saved his girlfriend’s life. He shielded her, he protected her. And he died for her.

Many of us would do the same thing for someone we love. Yet, how many of us would do this for someone we don’t even know? I know many who would and some who have. I’ve lost friends and acquaintances—brothers and sisters who simply wanted to help another human being in their greatest time of need.

Jonathan’s girlfriend, Jansen Young, summed it up quite nicely.

Young said Blunk would have taken a bullet for anyone in the theater Friday.

You know, the nearest person sitting next to him, he would have been like, “This person needs my help now.” That’s just who he was and everybody knew it.

Yes, that’s just who he was and everybody knew it. Even those who have never met him. He’s part of an amazing brotherhood of sinners and saints who want nothing more than to save you. To help you. To be there when you need them the most.

You did us proud, my brother, and may you rest in peace having shown the greatness of Love in the most trying times of fear.

May we have the courage, the ability and the discipline to do the same when called upon to act.

Be humbled, my friends, because greatness like this doesn’t always shine from the darkness. If it did, we’d all be firefighters, policeman, EMTs and in the military. I remain in awe of those I serve with, and of those who have paved the way before me.

So, while we get caught up in the mundane but necessary political debate over ways to keep us all safe, simple men and women are doing remarkable things to get us there. In my experience, tragedy happens in order that we may bring the best out of ourselves and in each other. Perhaps we need to focus on that “best of ourselves” in order to best honor those who have shown us the best of themselves. Maybe we need to focus a little more on the hero and a little less on the monster.


~ Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

Like elephant enlightened society on facebook.


About Tom Grasso (Gyandeva)

Tom Grasso is a Colorado-based seeker, meditator, blogger (new site), and creative wordsmith. More importantly, he is a father of three (meaning he is also a lecturer, teacher, chef, order taker, taxi driver, coach, mentor and aspirin addict) and has found great joy in sharing his life experience to the benefit of others. Tom is an abuse survivor and a reformed (though unapologetic) bad ass warrior who bares the scars of his adventures and the power of transformation in every word he writes. As a former firefighter and rescue tech, Tom understands the fragility of life and the impermanence of each moment. You can follow Tom on Tumblr , and can find his books on Amazon. You will soon be able to purchase Tom's short stories (and erotica) at Don't forget to like his "blog page" at Tom Grasso, Writer on Facebook.  


31 Responses to “Is This the Forgotten Side of Aurora? A Firefighter’s Sacrifice.”

  1. @Yogalody says:

    Amazing!!!! Thank you

  2. tom rapsas says:

    Nice, inspiring post, Tom. There is good and there is evil in this world and sometimes they brush up against one another. Our focus should always be on the good. ~Tom

  3. The ultimate irony is that Jamie Rorhrs fled the scene and drove away leaving his girlfriend, 4 year old daughter, and 3 month old son to fend for themselves. They were saved by a STRANGER named Jarell Brooks. Jamie Rohrs will get to see his children grow.

    Jon Blunk also had a four year old. As well as a two year old. Jon Blunk died saving his girlfriend. Leaving behind his estranged wife and two kids who will grow up without a father because of his heroism.

    Somehow, this seems so twisted and unfair.

  4. yogasamurai says:

    Of the two genders, it's men who are far more capable and willing to display physical bravery, and to sacrifice our bodies for others – it's an instinctive heroism that we are hard wired for. The only exception for women might be with their own children, because, to a large extent, women see their children as a simple extension of themselves.

    When was the last time you saw a woman rush into a burning building to save someone?

    This is one of the many magical and mystical qualities of being a man. It's a deep and powerful male archetype. And of course, a huge moral force on behalf of society as a whole.

    (if you're a radical feminist, just consider it one of the "perks" of patriarchy! It's amazing how many there are, though.)

    Namaste! YS

  5. Mamaste says:

    Peace my friend, and thank you for all you do.


  6. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB: Main Page.
    Again, thanks to all of the heroes.

  7. Ramon says:

    Tom — Great post, but I especially appreciate your thoughtful replies to the comments. THANK YOU.

  8. Tracy says:

    Beautiful and important post, Tom. All of it. This fact, as difficult as it is to process, " In my experience, tragedy happens in order that we may bring the best out of ourselves and in each other." is true as well. I've called tragedy a necessary part of our tenuous balance and I think that its opposite reaction is the reason that is so.
    Of course, it also begs the question: if we had better balance, might we "need" less tragedy. There's no way of knowing that just yet, but in the meantime, every time I learn of a tragedy, I look immediately for the blessings.
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply