By Debbie Gregory.

Last summer, Marine Corps veteran Everett Evans lost his home to a wildfire that raged across 50,000 acres in central California. Now the Marine Corps veteran is doing what he can to protect his community.

Evans, who served as an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, worked as a wildfire fighter for four years after he transitioned out of the military. But his service didn’t end there.

Like they say, once a Marine, always a Marine. And his training has served Evans well.

Evans founded the Semper Fi Tree Care and Fuels Crew. He purchased a chainsaw and some tools and began trimming trees and cutting back brush. The business has begun to grow, with  Evans now leading a four-man crew, comprised of his cohorts, all in their mid-20s who grew up in the area, went to school together, with a vested interest in keeping their community safe.

“I train them like I trained my Marines, so it’s rough,” Evans jokes.

The crew puts in 8 or 10 hours a day, often in extreme heat, especially during the summer months when the temperature in central California is around100 degrees.

The Semper Fi crew does tree-trimming and removal, weed abatement, and fuel reduction work, which gives the local firemen a better situation in case there is a fire.

For Evans, the work all comes down to the keeping faith with the community, and staying true to that old Marine Corps maxim: always faithful.

“This is my hometown, I love the people, and these people are here for each other,” Evans said. “That’s why we do it.”