BOZEMAN — Joe and Justis Micech have a lot in common, including a love of the outdoors and a passion for service.
“I always looked up to Dad as my role model. Growing up, him telling me stories of being in the military and his time in the mountains, I always gravitated towards,” said 19-year-old Justis Micech.
Five years ago, Joe Micech brought his search and rescue experience from the Navy to the Gallatin County Search and Rescue team.
Justis joined the crew as soon as he was able to.
Joe says he’s a natural.
“He is actually really calm. He takes direction well. So being as young as he is, there’s not many younger kids like him that have the ambition to do something like this,” said Joe.
The Micechs are highly skilled and trained volunteers. And like the rest of the team, at times they put their lives on the line on rescue missions.
Both father and son agree, it’s a great opportunity to spend time together, be outdoors and help people in the community.
“In Search and Rescue since it's always a different atmosphere we adapt through different things and we grow closer in those serious, or not serious, events,” said Justis. “Then afterwards we can pat each other on the back.”
Justis says he’s glad to know his dad is with him on some of those tough calls.
“He’ll probably be the biggest inspiration in my life forevermore from this experience and experiences before.”
And Joe says he enjoys every second of working with his son.
“I really enjoy having him with me. It makes me really proud for him to do something like this,” he said.
Justis says his plans are to enlist in the Navy just like his Dad, and then maybe one day, join another Search and Rescue team.