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Firefighters, Andersen mourn loss of one of their own

  • Published
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen members gathered at a memorial service here Aug. 21 to mourn the loss of a beloved civilian employee and friend.

Frank Barnes, 39, a lead firefighter from Andersen Fire and Emergency Services, passed away at his home Aug. 9 from a heart attack.

He is survived by his wife, Nanette Barnes, and three children - Frankie Barnes, 19; Johnathan Barnes, 17; and Kyle Barnes, 10.

Among other tributes, the traditional, echoing sound of a bagpipe enveloped mourners who struggled with their grief while finding meaning in his many accomplishments.

Mr. Barnes served in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 1992 and separated as a specialist. After briefly working for the commissary, he joined the fire department, where he served for 15 years. He re-enlisted in the Army Reserve March 2007.

36th Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Mark Talley, recalled the fire station as his first stop upon arriving at the base 17 months ago and Mr. Barnes being the first person to greet him.

"He stepped out into the parking lot, had a smile and a handshake and said 'Welcome to the base and welcome to the fire department!'"

The group commander said Mr. Barnes' warm personality truly fit his profession of serving others.

"He really embodied the Chamorro concept of 'familia.' As I talk to other people on the base, that memory I have of meeting him almost 18 months ago, that's their same memory too," Colonel Talley said. "The fire chief knew him years ago as a brand new firefighter ... the same guy--the smile, the handshake--and as you're meeting him, you know you're okay."