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We will take it from here

Sgt. Nathan Luke Story answered his final call on Jan. 24, and firefighters from across the state celebrated his homecoming during funeral services last week.
Almost half of the filled chapel at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home was made up of multiple branches of first responders in dress uniform packed shoulder to shoulder for the tribute to Story who lost a brief battle with pancreatic cancer at age 37.
“He would have been so proud,” Story’s father, Kenneth, said to the officers in expressing appreciation for the overwhelming support.
“We can’t find the words for this, except love,” his mother, Jayne, agreed.
Jonesborough Operations Manager Craig Ford said Story was the first full-time firefighter he hired while serving as chief of Public Safety. “I can stand here this morning and say I got that right,” he said.
Ford described Story on his last day in the hospital as maintaining a positive attitude despite being in considerable pain. “He reached out his hand with a smile on his face and asked, ‘How are you, buddy?’ to everyone who came to see him.”
Story’s bravery, service, even his comedic nature, were lauded during the ceremony, but Pastor Mike Anglin said his most important decision was made Jan. 24.
Though raised in the church, Story had never made a public profession of faith. During a conversation with Maj. Natalie Hilton that morning, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior before dying in his brother’s arms.
“It’s always been stated that you preach your funeral while you live,” Anglin said, referring to four pages of remembrances about Story that had been given to him by family, friends and co-workers. “I have that sermon with these stories. Now Luke has his testimony as a child of God.”
As the procession led by almost 20 fire trucks traveled to Cherokee Baptist Cemetery, supporters including members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, the Jonesborough Public Safety Department, business people and county residents could be seen standing at the roadside in a show of respect, many with hands over their hearts.
Pallbearers who carried the flag-draped casket across the cemetery grounds to the gravesite were flanked on either side by first responders who saluted as Story passed.
Following a traditional ringing of the fire bell in recognition of Story’s completing his last shift, a Wings Air Rescue helicopter circled the cemetery in tribute.
Through outdoor speakers, the crowd then heard three pages from the Comm Center for Firefighter 112. In answer, it was reported that on Jan. 24, the Lord called Story home and upon arrival, he was welcomed with loving arms. “We will take it from here,” he was assured. “Luke, rest in peace brother.”