Behind The Lines: Captain John Michael Neu

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MINT HILL, NC – The Mint Hill Times is proud to introduce Captain John Michael Neu.

The son and grandson of Mint Hill volunteer firefighters, Neu thought it would be neat to follow in their footsteps, but ultimately decided to take a different route.  “My dad’s an electrician, so I did electrical work for a long time,” says Neu, “but I wasn’t happy.  I worked in a building all day; I couldn’t tell if the sun was shining outside – it wasn’t for me.”

Neu’s life changed when he watched the Christian-based movie Fireproof.  “I watched it with my wife,” says Neu, “and after I was like, I want to be a fireman, and my wife was like, you took the wrong moral out of that movie!”

Neu started volunteering with the fire department in 2008 and was hired in 2010.  Neu credits his crew with keeping him there for over a decade now.  “These guys are my family,” says Neu.  “I look forward to coming to work with them.  There’s been times when I thought, maybe there’s something different for me, but it’s the crew aspect that I just can’t pull away from.”

“We take that aspect of it when we go on a call,” adds Neu.  “When we respond to a call, you’re part of our family, and we’ll do what we can to help. Maybe you end up cooking their dinner, but you do that because that’s why you signed up for this.”

When Neu isn’t at the fire station, he still does electrician work and enjoys spending time with his wife Monica and his daughters Kori and Kayla, ages 11 and 14.  They live in Oakboro now, but Neu can’t imagine being a firefighter anywhere but Mint Hill.  “I still feel a part of the town,” says Neu.  “That’s why I’ve stayed.  I’ve never applied at another fire department.  There’s something special about this town for me, and that’s why I’m here.”

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: