For nearly 16 years I have kissed my husband goodbye each day and watched as he drives off into a dangerous and unknown world. I have prayed more for him and his safety than I have prayed for anything else, including healing for Hannah. I married Dennis knowing that he took a vow nearly 23 years ago to serve, protect and possibly have to pay the ultimate sacrifice for a complete stranger; so I knew coming into this it wouldn’t always be easy but let me tell you what I didn’t realize.
- I didn’t realize some of the things that he would see and hear and be faced with.
- I didn’t realize he would often times, without wanting to, bring that work home with him
- I didn’t realize the hurt he would have for some of the victims of violent crimes that he has dealt with
- I didn’t realize the disrespect he and his fellow officers would be shown
- I didn’t realize the blatant disregard for human life that he would encounter
- I didn’t realize that the dream of being an officer would eventually turn into the dream of counting down the days until retirement
- I didn’t realize that the day would come when wearing a badge and a gun, swearing to serve and protect could possibly become a death sentence
- I didn’t realize how unsafe the world would become where he would be a target
- I didn’t realize the tears that either of us would shed
- I didn’t realize that unfortunately “political correctness” could cost him or some of his fellow officers their jobs
- I didn’t realize that he would be more safe as a civilian than as an officer
As his wife, I have become angry more than once due to the things he has had to deal with and face. I get angry when our officers are attacked, ambushed, killed and disrespected. I always think…..that could be my husband, my brother or my friend. I am just his wife, I don’t face the dangers he does but I feel every single emotion he does. Watching the news and hearing of officers being attacked and murdered sends sharp pains of anger through my entire being. This world in which we live has turned its back on God and the laws of the land. In return, the evil people out there are seeking to destroy justice and all who try to serve and protect. As the wife, sister and friend to MANY of these officers I am outraged, saddened and disgusted by the lack of respect for their God-given authority.
As a child I was taught to respect the law and those enforcing it. Today’s children are not being taught that, instead they are being taught to disregard the law and hate those enforcing it. Shame on you parents who aren’t showing your children by example and speaking with them often about the reason we have laws, the reason we should obey them and the reason we should respect those in authority.
This week is National Police Memorial Week, which is observed each year in the month of May, where we honor and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Those who lost their lives and the families that they left behind. I pray I am never one of those families. I pray that my husband’s career won’t ask that price of him to be paid. I pray that people would take a moment and realize what these men and women in blue are willing to do for you and for me and that they too, like you, have families and loved ones that are being asked to sacrifice as well.
Many days and nights Hannah and I don’t see Dennis due to working his full-time job as a detective and then the side jobs he does to supplement his income so that I can stay home. He works hard, he works well, he cares about people (way more than I do) and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that from the moment nearly 23 years ago that he lifted his hand and swore to defend and protect the citizens of Jacksonville, that he still takes that vow seriously today. A little over 2 years from now his career as a police officer will be over and I will be honest……I will not miss the life he has had to live nor the life that has been asked and required of Hannah and me. I will breathe easier each day when he signs off the radio for the very last time and walks away and into our home never to put on that uniform again.
I am so very proud of him, but I long for the day where I can be assured he will not be asked to pay the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, like too many already have. If you think about it, thank an officer. A simple “thank you for your service to our community” goes a long way.
Thank you to all the men and women, in Jacksonville and in every city of every state for doing a job that truly requires a willingness to sacrifice. You sacrifice your family, your financial stability, your time, possibly your life all defending, protecting and serving complete strangers. God bless you, each and every one!
Until next time……..