by Kathy, His Mom
Inglewood birth in late-January, six weeks ahead of schedule, presaged his style
of living he had goals to achieve and wanted to get an early start.
As an infant, nothing held him back. He was
walking at nine months, talking shortly afterwards, and soon running the lives
of both sets of grandparents. He was a happy baby who bulked up on Gerbers
His feet and his mind were continuously racing. When we would read him
a story, he wouldnt let us finish it. Before we could get to the last word,
he would shout out the ending.
He seemed to grow up fast, and started cruising for chicks at the tender
age of six with his best friend Brian, ten years his senior. To compete
for his attention, I started coloring my hair. Thirteen years later, Kirk was best man at
He reacted warily to the first day of kindergarten, forcing
me to sit out in the car during school in case he needed me. But when he
discovered that his teacher was a cute blonde, Kirk informed me that I
could stay home from now on.
Learning was an adventure from that very first day. He loved to read,
got good grades, and discovered that his favorite subject was history. He
could not get enough of books; so we bought them, and we borrowed them, from the library,
from family, or from friends. And he sought out stories, especially
enjoying first hand accounts from people who had lived through important historical events.
Sadly, in the August following Kirks sixth birthday, his father James
passed away. This loss is partly responsible for making Kirk what he is today, a sensitive, caring
young man, protective of those he loves and mature beyond his years.
His love of reading followed him into his teenage years, and although
he maintained outstanding grades, school was becoming less consuming
than before. He developed an interest in karate, an ideal mental and physical
outlet for him. Kirk excelled at the sport, earning his black belt while
testing against an ex-Navy SEAL. As a sophomore he was a karate instructor,
but demonstrating balance, he participated in the Academic Decathlon as well.
In his final high school year, Kirk competed in track and field and played
varsity football, while maintaining his academic and outside interests.
During the senior awards ceremony, Kirk and another student were posted
as attendants on either side of the auditorium stage to increase the efficiency
of the event. The many awards the two received ranged from certificates
for outstanding citizenship to gold watches to college scholarships. The
audience seemed amused as the awards stacked up on the stage.
Kirk graduated in the top twelve, out of 655, in his class, the largest
graduating class in the history of Leuzinger High School.
At El Camino College, Kirk concentrated on firefighting and emergency
technology classes, taking all the available classes in firefighter training.
In addition, he took classes at oil refineries offered by the National Fire
Protection Association. He worked as a volunteer at the Anaheim Fire Department,
and took EMT training at El Camino and at the Southern California Regional Occupational Center,
becoming a certified emergency medical technician.
He was an Explorer with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and worked full time
for an ambulance service.
At age twenty, after testing at various fire departments, scoring in
the high 90s to 100, and finding no firefighter positions available,
Kirk applied to the LAPD on the advice of a friend.
The rest is history. He was hired, and in my opinion, this was the best
thing that could have ever happened, because it was at the LAPD that he