11-year-old Mason Allen a fifth grader who falls on the autism spectrum scale from Spokane Valley caught the attention of firefighters across America from Kennebunk Port, Maine all the way to Anchorage, Alaska. But Mason never had the chance to meet his pen-pal hero.
38-year-old Garrett Paiz, a firefighter from Noel, Missouri, reached out to Mason in March 2017, after seeing our story about Mason, since then the two had been in contact talking almost every week, "We would talk to each other on Facebook messenger back and forth," said Mason. Over the summer Garrett was fighting wildfires in Washington state and wanted to meet Mason in person, "He wanted me to bring me the challenge coin, and hand delivers it to me," Mason said.
Not just any coin - a challenge coin - the kind they give out to those who serve on the front lines - whether at war or in a disaster - Garret's way of showing Mason that he was one of the team.