The firefighter who tenderly cradled a baby girl killed in the Oklahoma City bombing is ending his tour of duty.

Chris Fields retired this month after 31 years, 7 months and 16 days at the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He spent much of his life rushing to emergencies, but it was that one moment — captured in a searing photo — and the attention it garnered that shook him, impacting his mental health and family relationships.

It took counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder and years to process the events, but Fields says he’s finally in a good place. He’s a husband and the father of two grown sons. And he’s friends with the baby’s mom, a bond he calls a blessing.

“I have come a long way,” Fields, 53, told TODAY. “It took me a long time to get to this point… it definitely affected my personal life as the years went on, but everything is great now.”

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