#BackTheBlue RSS

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I have always known that we are family in the vague sort of way that you can know something is true without really focusing on it or seeing it all the time. There is something about seeing law officers, their spouses, service members in the armed forces, the “civilian” employees of departments, firefighters, dispatchers, corrections officers, EMS personnel and security officers, joining together to honor the life of one of their own, that brings this commonality home to the heart in a way that’s hard to put into words. Reflected on faces streaked with tears or those set firmly, iron-jawed with stoic determination not to cry, I could literally see the dedication that each man and woman in attendance gives to the emergency services family. There is a kindred spirit that we all share, a unity of thought and purpose that pulls us together when one of our own has given his or her all in the performance of solemn and sacred duty. We don’t all serve in the same role, but we all serve the same righteous cause.

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I woke up this morning and checked my phone like I always do, looking to see if anything important had happened while I slept.  I saw that there was a series of terrorist attacks in Belgium, and that was shocking, of course.  I saw that I received a lot of “junk” emails during the night, which is not unusual at all, and quite annoying as well.  But then I checked the messages on the social media pages I monitor related to law enforcement support, and was confronted with the most disturbing of messages, and one that I see all too often any more – that another police officer had chosen to end his life by suicide.  The message reads, in part:

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It's happened again. Once more a promising young life has been extinguished for no discernible reason. Once again I will spit shine boots, affix ribbons, dust off my service cap and press out my class A uniform so that I can, once again, stand in ranks of other law enforcement officers at a memorial service. Yet again I will struggle to hold back tears as I hear the final call broadcast for a brother in arms, and try to suppress the lump in my throat as his wife, or perhaps his parents, cry out in anguish. I might even succeed at maintaining my bearing.

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I don't even know where this post will go but I've thought about the LE community all day today. I've thought of our officers, their spouses, their children, the moms and dads, brothers and sisters. I've thought about it from every angle I can humanly imagine. I always wind up at the same destination: I can't say anything that will make it better.

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Eight months ago, just before the effective date of my resignation from my former employer, I was injured in the line of duty. The injury seemed relatively minor, nothing more than a tweaked wrist on my dominate side. The worker’s comp doctor assured me it was just a deep bone bruise and nothing to worry about. I went through with my resignation and moved 1800 miles across the country in a leap of faith to join my now-wife in her home state.

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