Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Family Behind The Badge: Thank A Police Officer (Part II)

This week I am honored to share two stories with you. These are the personal testimonies of two law enforcement officer wives (LEOWs), of which my husband and I are very close with their families. Right now there are a lot of politics in the news regarding the police and my goal of sharing these women's stories is to shed some light to you on what goes on behind that Badge. I am a strong supporter of law enforcement; and I believe that they are true heroes in our community that deserve as much honor as our military. 

Saturday September 19 is Thank a Police Officer Day. I encourage you to thank one if you see him or her, buy them a cup of coffee (or a gift card) and most simply - wear blue that day. A great idea is to use blue painters tape on your car's or home's window. 

This is truly often a thankless job, and as Ann (and earlier this week, Melody) will share with you, it comes at great sacrifice of themselves and often times their family too. Here's Ann's story.

My husband and I have been together since we were 15 and 16 years old.  He worked as a server at a Mexican food restaurant for 8 years and  I worked multiple odd jobs baking for a local farmer’s  market stand, in manufacturing for a small business, and in retail.  As years went by we graduated high school and a local community college, then I set forth to cosmetology school.  My then fiancĂ© struggled with what he wanted to do as a career.  I remember the moment he told me he wanted to go to the Police Academy, as we stood in the middle on his restaurant.  I hate to admit, but my comment back was, “Okay… really?  You’re not going to be one of those cops are ya?”  You see, my images of police as an adolescent were not fond memories.  Now, I look back now with different eyes.  They were just doing their job, following protocol, and keeping people safe.  I could see the excitement in his eyes with the dream of helping others, plus the benefits, early retirement, and Honor of the Badge were enticing. 

We married in 2006 at the young ages of 21 and 22.  As the thought of my husband becoming Law enforcement (LE) settled in, I became very excited, proud, and supportive.  Next began the applying, testing, and the waiting game.  He was blessed to be hired by a local Sheriff office.  Lucky for him he got to miss my whole first trimester of our first child while he was at the academy.  

He very much enjoyed the academy.  I believe he loved the camaraderie, the education, having someone push his limits, the physical fitness routines, and the thought that he would be able to make a difference in an  honorable a career.   While in the academy, our nerves were definitely rattled when we lost one of the female Deputies from his agency and five citizens, by a mental man.  It was a very tragic day for our community and Brotherhood.  I remember asking him over the phone “It’s not too late, are you sure you want to do this?” He continued on and graduated. The day I had the honor of pinning the brass on his chest I will never forget. 

Hitting the street:  He spent 8 weeks on FTO, then was deemed a commissioned Deputy. The crown-vic pulled into our driveway.  It felt like a new status.  Later on we learned having a take home vehicle is has its pros and cons.  I would say the first year of shift changes, court dates, stress, and having a very colicky newborn was a true test of our marriage.  We are now 7 years in, still pretty fresh in comparison, but we both feel very weathered. This career wears fast on the LE, their family, and lifestyle.  We have enjoyed the Brotherhood we have established, although we do not participate in many of typical police functions.  As a LEOW(wife), I am very proud of my Husband.  He is a great Deputy with compassion, a good listening ear, and quick mentality.   I have learned to pray harder than I ever have before, not to worry, flexibility is key, holidays can be any day, patience, planning, and to take on a full load feeling like a single parent sometimes.  I have learned what he does and what he doesn’t like to eat in his patrol car (some things are too messy or some finger food just feels dirty, no matter how much hand sanitizer he uses).  My husband will only wake up early while on night shift for his son’s sports games or a Seahawks game.  He enjoys living in the moment. 

When off duty, he very much switched his brain into family life, but doesn’t hesitate to help a citizen in need of loading lumber at Lowe's, assists elderly, hold open doors, acts as an undercover citizen as he witnesses a Motor Vehicle accident, but reports to dispatch the situation as an off duty deputy.  He truly has the heart of a Hero. 

Today we have a 6 year old and a 4 year old, whom are very proud of their Daddy.  Our son keeps  saying he would love to be a police officer.  The kids also enjoy Dad showing up in uniform at school or for sports events, so they can show him off.  They often get confused about which shift dad is working or to be quiet while he sleeps. But we do our best and I have so much compassion for his emotional and physically hard work.  

But today things are different, than 7 years ago…  I am very aware of the floods of Police Supporters and families.  I am also very aware of the escalated hatred, threats, and disgust toward men and woman who bear the badge.  There are days I pray and feel my husband should just keep holding his head high, trust the Lord is cloaking him.  Then there are days where I doubt if it is worth it to go  fight a battle that can’t be won.  Evil will keep creeping into people souls, drugs will continue, the jails will be full, crime will accelerate as desperate people do desperate things.  I have seen him come home with stories of success and courage. I have seen him come home with defeat, bruises, and a broken spirit.  These Men and Women are a different breed of human.  Yes there are some who make bad choices.  But the majority work hard, follow the rules, and are such great assets to their communities.  

I will not hide my LEO Pride.  Those trying to scare the peace officers and their families are cowards. I have Faith on my side.   Our LE life will keep chugging along until retirement or until my husband decided to ‘tap out’ and change careers.  Whatever he chooses he has my support.  Any chance I have, I continue to urge people to Thank any Police Officer they meet to show their support and gratitude.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, 
for they shall be called sons of God.”
-Mathew 5:9

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  1. Sweet story! You are an amazing family!

  2. I am thankful for people like your hubby who are willing to risk their safety to help others!! I am also thankful for families like yours willing to "borrow" your hubby to the community! He is helping make the world a better place... even if it's one incident at a time ;)



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