The life of Michael Lee Freeland, affectionately known as “Mike,” began on February 19, 1985, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was born to Michael Steele and Terona S. Freeland. He attended the local public schools of Duval County, graduating from Edward White High School, Class of 2003.
Furthering his education, Mike attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. During his tenure, doctors discovered he had a rare form of cancer in his finger, which would later require amputation and his unenrollment. This was a very challenging moment in Mike’s young life but, because of his determination, he didn’t give up and still pursued life. He continued his studies and later earned a Bachelor of Applied Science with Supervision in Management degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville.
At an early age he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He was a member of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, where he served as a member of the Health Ministry and Parking Lot Ministry.
Mike always had a desire to work. He was afforded the opportunity of working for several companies, including Winn-Dixie, Foot Locker, the United States Postal Service, NAPA Auto Parts, ADT, Caliber Patient Care, and Agape Community Health Center.
Mike’s childhood dream was to one day become a racecar driver. He had a love and passion for vintage cars and would frequently attend car shows. Mike owned an array of cars and tennis shoes.
The mission of Mike’s life began when he became employed by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department as a firefighter. This was a decision he made to model the life of his fireman uncle, George. Above all, Mike was dedicated to helping others. He excelled with great job performance in his career, earning certification as a paramedic. This profession gave him the rights of passage to be a modern-day hero, as he would show true by exemplifying his unwavering courage and commitment to service.
He received numerous commendations for his heroic efforts, including certification in Aircraft, Rescue and Firefighting. In the spring of 2019, Mike was promoted to engineer and was studying for the lieutenant’s exam. Other affiliations include being a member of the MOBB Jeep Club.
The purpose of Mike’s time on earth was shown to his community and to the world as he sacrificed his own life for the lives of others. On November 11, 2021, while in the line of duty, Engineer Michael Lee Freeland went home to be with the Lord.