Two Milwaukee firefighters who traveled to Boston to celebrate the lives of a pair of fallen counterparts turned from the honorers to the honorees during one unforgettable meal.
Last week in Boston Lt. Ryan Venne and Andrew Wilke joined thousands of firefighters from across the country for the funerals of Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh Jr., who died last month while battling a nine-alarm fire.
The Milwaukee Brewers also happened to be in Boston that weekend for a series against the Red Sox. One night at the steakhouse Abe and Louie's the two parties bumped into each other. A waiter who knew the firefighters were from Milwaukee made the connection.
"He came over and goes, 'Hey, you guys are from Milwaukee. I think that's the Milwaukee Brewers sitting over there,'" Venne told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I'm a huge baseball fan. My wife is. My son plays baseball. We know the players. I peeked over there and recognized (Yovani) Gallardo. I said, 'That's the Brewers!'"
Wilke said the group of pitchers and catchers spoke with the men for a few minutes and the firefighters explained that they were in Boston for the funerals. The group then posed for this picture:
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Later a waiter came over to the firefighters' table and told them that one of the Brewers would be picking up their tab.
"It kind of left me speechless," Wilke said upon hearing about the generous offer.
As it turns out, Matt Garza had the idea to pay for the men and Kyle Lohse put their tab on his credit card.
"We appreciate what they do. They put their lives on the line for people," Lohse told the Journal-Sentinel. "We were there in Boston where they just recently had a tragedy with that incident with their firefighters. It was a little token of our appreciation. The least we could do was pick up their dinner."
The Brewers swept the Red Sox that weekend and have gone on to win six consecutive games since then.