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Widow of Midway firefighter receives letter from President Trump

Widow of Midway firefighter receives letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News) Widow of Midway firefighter receives letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News)
Widow of Midway firefighter receives letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News) Widow of Midway firefighter receives letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News)
Letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News) Letter from President Trump (Source: WMBF News)

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) – The widow of a Midway firefighter who died from an aggressive form of cancer last October received a letter of condolence from President Trump.

Lillian Collins Carney posted images of the personally-signed letter to her Facebook page Thursday.

Joshua Carney, a battalion chief with Midway Fire Rescue, was diagnosed with a melanoma cancer in June, and passed away on Thursday, October 19.

The letter from President Trump, dated February 2, 2018, reads:

It is with a heavy heart that I learned of the loss of your husband, Midway Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Joshua Carney.

While no words can possibly console your family on your loss and Shayla on the loss of her father, I pray that you are strengthened by the memory of his enduring spirit and honorable service.

Melania and I join your family and community in honoring Joshua for the love he shared with you and his selflessness commitment to serving and protecting others.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sorrowful time.

Lillian Carney said she debated about whether or not to post the letter publicly, but then she realized she would be doing her husband a disservice by not posting it.

“Josh knew how proud and honored his family was of him, but this, receiving the thoughts and prayers from the President,” she wrote on Facebook. “I am sure he would be just as in awe and honored as we are.”

Carney served in the United States Air Force as an airport firefighter at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington D.C. before joining Midway Fire Rescue 18 years ago, according to a Facebook post from the department. He and his wife, Lillian, have one daughter together; she was recently accepted to the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.

"It was touching knowing that he took time out of his day to recognize Josh and Shayla and I both," said Carney.

For Lillian, it’s not the signature that made the letter special.

"I think what really got me when I was reading the letter was when he says Melania and I," she said.

Though the past four months have been difficult, Lillian and Shayla try to laugh and smile about the memories. Occasionally, Josh sends them a smile through his favorite song, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica.

"One day I was in the parking lot and I was just crying and it was one of those moments. The next thing I know, 'Enter Sandman' comes on the radio. I knew he was right there telling me I’ll be OK and we’ll be OK," Lillian said.

Josh will be honored at the Midway Fire Rescue station on March 3. The department will retire his number 46. 

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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