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On September 30, 2013 my life
changed. My son, Brandon Orozco, a 28-year-old Apprentice Lineman, was killed while working alone in a vault. Following this tragedy, there was a great outpouring of support from IBEW members. I found solace in talking with other linemen, both friends and colleagues of my son and total strangers. Somehow, they seemed to be the only ones who understood my grief. Getting to know these men and women helped me to stay connect with Bran and the job he loved.
In the months following Bran’s death I began giving away Prayer Hands stickers to linemen and asking that they put them on their hardhats in remembrance of my son. Seeing Instagram postings of hardhats with Bran’s stickers from linemen across the country brings me much joy.What began as a form of therapy has become a mission. I’ve created the Brother’s Keeper Lineman Apparel line for a few reasons. I wish to honor my son and keep his memory alive. This work allows me not only to talk about Bran, but also to stay in touch with his brothers.I also wish to prevent this tragedy from befalling other families. Before Brandon died, I did not fully appreciate the dangers of his job. I knew the stats – that Power Lineman ranks in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.; that there is a 2% on the job fatality rate. But stats are just numbers and until you connect them to actual human beings, they’re basically meaningless. Brother’s Keeper Lineman Apparel puts a face (just one of too many) to these numbers. It serves as a remind to Linemen and their friends and family: this is a tough, hazardous job, take care of each other.