GREAT FALLS — On Saturday morning, the Montana ExpoPark was filled friends and family of Captain David Thomas Lambers, who lost his life to lung cancer on November 12. Captain Lambers joined the Army in 2011 as a firefighter, was hired at the Montana Air National Guard in 2013, and transferred to the Air Force in March of this year.
David’s remains were taken on their final ride from the fire station to the Montana Expo Park, where loved ones spoke about who Captain Lambers was as a person.
“But to hear about his willingness to make sure that everyone felt included,” Jake Lambers, David Lambers’ older brother said, “And how he would bend over backwards to help in a time of need, highlights my brother’s personality.”
“At our house, he’s Uncle Dave,” Dusty DeBoer, Lambers’ best friend said, “Even though not blood related, he’s Uncle Dave to us, and Aunt April.”
Remembered for being humble, funny, and calming, Captain Lambers touched the lives of hundreds of people, as seen from the huge attendance at the Expo Park. But even more than that, as a firefighter in the military, his life was one of service and dedication to those around him.
“Those who worked with David also admitted there were times he helped keep their feet grounded in stressful situations,” Chaplain Jeff Simpson of the Montana Air National Guard said, “In fact, he had a gift to make undesirable work fun.”
Lambers left behind a community, or perhaps a family, of loved ones. His humble and lighthearted nature affected everyone who knew him, and every story told about him made the audience laugh and smile at his warm and gracious demeanor.
It is always difficult to say goodbye to someone, especially when they had so much more life to give. Captain Lambers was only 36 years old when he passed. He is survived by his wife, two children, parents, brothers, sisters, and grandmother. He was a family man, through and through.
The ceremony concluded with the sounding of the bell, and the final call over the radio for Lambers, officially relieving him of duty. These two longstanding traditions are powerful reminders of Captain Lambers’ service to his country and others.
“Captain David Lambers of Montana Air National Guard Fire Department,” The radio blared, “You are now out of service, but never forgotten.”
At Highland Cemetery, Lambers was honored with the playing of Taps and a Three Gun Salute. While the official ceremony celebrating Captain Lambers ended with this, his memory will live on through his family, the fire department, military, and everyone else who knew him.
To read Captain David Lambers’ obituary, click here.