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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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There was a time in my life where I had no idea who I was. When I was a child, I believed what my parents believed without challenge. When I was in school, I believed what my teachers told me to be true. As a friend, I've allowed people to speak their perceptions into my life about other people as fact. I've been the sheep before.
 
Even though I am older, I still find myself there from time to time.

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It is true that officers have to reconcile that evil exists; it's a reality that an officer will see violence. It's a reality that officers are targets because many people do not want to be detained for their actions and some simply despise the badge. However, officers do not sign up in order to die. They sign up to fight and keep evil in check so that all of us, including themselves, can live.

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Today, social media will be filled with pictures.  The pictures will consists of plates of stuffing and mashed potatoes.  You'll see images of sisters and brothers who have not seen each other in several months or even years.  You'll see grandparents swooping up their latest addition to their families while spoiling them rotten.  There is always that huge part of you that enjoys seeing the images and then there is a part of you that feels a tinge of jealousy.  

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I miss my badge.  You see, I never wanted to be a cop.  The joke was on me though because I did an internship and realized I loved it.  A series of events led me to a city I never even wanted to visit and plopped me behind the badge of a department that has had its fair share of blemishes.  More than that, it was chock full of men and women working miracles with little support and few supplies. As my mom pinned my new badge on my chest, it shined with the pride of thousands who’d gone before

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