“I’ve been a firefighter for 23 years, and it’s a firefighting tradition to have a piper in the department for memorials. I’ve always loved the sound of the bagpipes. There’s something very moving about hearing the drummer strike in and the pipes start to play. I wanted to play them for years before I actually bought a set. I was too busy, and I knew it would require some dedication to get good at them. When I finally got them around six years ago, the first thing I did was pray over them. I said, ‘God, I don’t know what I’m going to do with these, but I want You to take me where You want to take me.’ So far, He’s taken me all over the country for memorials and weddings. I’ve even played in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and during Dallas Cowboys halftime shows. Having the pipes means so much to people.

I’ll never forget one funeral when I played for a fallen firefighter. I didn’t know the man or his family, and I was the only piper that day. I stayed to pay my respects after I was done playing and the father came up to me and hugged me. It meant a lot to him.

I’ve been at Gateway for 11 years now, and a lot has changed since I got here. I was going through a tough time when I first came, but during my time here I’ve met my wife, Linda; joined the Bedford Fire Department Honor Guard; and learned how to play the bagpipes. In fact, if you’re ever at the Southlake Campus during the week, you might hear me practicing in the parking lot!” 

Ron and Linda attend the Southlake Campus.