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Hero Firefighter Enters His Third Tour in Iraq

Hero Firefighter Enters His Third Tour in Iraq

In 2003, David Kean greets his daughter, Jenna Kean, then 4, after returning from service in Iraq as a military helicopter pilot. Kean is now on his third Iraq deployment, scheduled to end in September. (Press-Telegram)

Long Beach Press-Telegram

March 10, 2010

“If I didn’t have the Long Beach Fire Department behind me, it would be a lot more difficult,” Koreen Kean said. “They are like a second family for me and the girls. If I need anything they’re right on it.”

Although the LBFD has been a major support for her, Koreen Kean had to quit her full-time job as manager of Legends of Aviation Restaurant at the Long Beach Airport in December to become a full-time mom.

“I loved my job but I worked 70 hours a week, and that didn’t fit in with my kids,” she said. “My kids come first. It took some getting used to, being home, but I know I’m doing the right thing.”

Her husband misses the special times with his daughters.

“My oldest is really upset because her first softball game of the season is today (Thursday) and I’m not there,” he said. “My youngest wants to be a golf pro and I used to go over to Heartwell (golf course) and do that with her.”

“When I come home, we’re going go do some things. I have to make it up to them,” Koreen Kean said.

Technology has helped to ease the pain of his latest deployment, Koreen Kean said.

“We all have Facebook, and we communicate a lot on Facebook. We also communicate on Skype,” she said. “The communication now, from the first time is totally different. We have a webcam on the computer so at least I get to talk to him, and we can see him. When the girls are in trouble I can let him see them and say, ’Here, talk to your kids.”’

Without other military spouses to understand her experiences and without the military resources needed for families of deployed loved ones, Koreen Kean depends greatly on the LBFD, whose members have painted walls, fixed water heaters and laid carpet for her family, she said.

“The one thing I’ve learn through all of this is, if I need help, ask for it. I cannot do this on my own,” she said. “It helps to know that people are willing to step up and give assistance when we need it. That’s comforting in itself. But whatever I need to do to get my girls through this I will definitely do.”

Throughout all his deployments, David Kean says, his fellow firefighters have been a great support to him.

“I appreciate all the support I’m getting from my brothers and sisters there at the Long Beach Fire Department,” David Kean said. “I get lots of e-mails and packages. They check on my wife and kids and make sure they’re OK. The city of Long Beach has been very supportive of the military with these two wars going on.”

Kean, who will be home in three weeks for two weeks of rest and relaxation, will get very little of it, said his wife.

“It’s near both our girls’ birthdays so they have Disneyland trips planned and everything,” she said.