PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The Lone Survivor and the Granite Mountain Hotshot number 20 are two of the nicknames that Brendan McDonough received after he survived and 19 of his hotshot brothers perished in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
McDonough continues to cope and deal with the reality that he lost 19 brothers last June and that he was the only one to survive that fateful day. It’s a tragedy that hit his heart 19 different ways but also taught the 22-year-old to make the most out of every day.
“You never think it’s going to be you,” he said. “There are mornings where I wake up and the first thing on my mind is that I lost 19 brothers. There are days I don’t want to get up.” McDonough never received training on how to deal with losing brothers during a fire and every day for the past year he has worked to overcome the challenges he has faced.