"I'd rather die in my boots than live in a suit."
Robert Caldwell, 23, lived by the above quote, and he was always a man true to his word. He died with honor with his brothers in the line of duty with his boots tight on his feet. He was compassionate, sensitive and never afraid to show his true emotions to those he loved and held close to his heart. Robert was unquestionably the most amazing husband, son, brother, father, and friend. He is survived by his wife Claire, son Zion, his mother and father Dave and Linda Caldwell, and his sister Taylor Caldwell.
Friends characterized Robert Caldwell as the smart man in the bunch.
"He was really smart, he had a good sense of humor," said Chase Madrid, who worked as a Hotshot for two years but sat this year out. "He was one of the smart guys in the crew who could get the weather, figure out the mathematics. It was just natural for him."
It was Caldwell's intelligence and know-how that got him appointed as a squad boss.
"Bob was a really good friend," added Gina Martinez, who knew many of the Hotshots.
He married his wife, Claire, last year and they were raising their son.
"I am fortunate enough to be Robert's wife, Claire. While I didn't have him in my life long enough, each moment that we shared was a blessing. The night we met, we knew it in our hearts that we were soul mates. We had known each other for 1,000 years before, and we would know each other for another 1,000 years. Robert was the kind of man every man strives to be. He was the husband every woman dreams of and the kind of father a child could look up to. We were all so blessed to have him in our lives, and I will carry him in my heart for the rest of my life. There simply aren't enough words to explain the love and gratitude I feel for him."
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