Proud Doesn't Necessarily Mean Loud

I’m proud to be a police wife.

I’m proud of my husband for doing the job that he does, especially in today’s culture. I support our law enforcement and back the blue 100%.

But, you might not know that by just looking at me. I don’t often wear thin blue line apparel, and we don’t have big TBL stickers on our cars. There’s a patrol car parked in our driveway when my husband’s not working, but besides that, we don’t have anything outside or inside our home (besides in his office) that shows our blue support.

When we first became a blue family I was under the impression that I had to shout it from the rooftops. There are many wives and families out there who proudly declare their association with their officers with fun Facebook profile picture frames, social media posts, and adorable shirts. And I love that! I think our officers and their departments need all of the outward support that they can get, especially in a world that has seemed to have turned its back on its blue members.

However-if you’re not one of those people, don’t feel bad. I often struggle with feeling guilty for not being more open about our blue life. Yes, I post the occasional status or two on my personal page and have one TBL shirt, but generally we keep my officer’s profession pretty quiet. One of the main reasons I created my LEOW blog, ammo + grace, was to have an outlet where I could share my triumphs and struggles with other blue members who get it-and not have to worry about the ones who don’t.

And sometimes, I feel ashamed of that. I feel like I should be more open about what our life is like and what he does and how much I support that to everyone, not just my followers who are strictly police wives and police supporters.

But being proud doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be loud about it.

Because of my job (I’m a family therapist who works mainly with teenagers on probation) there’s often overlap between the kiddos my husband has arrested and the ones I see. The neighborhoods and apartment complexes I visit are the ones that regularly pop up on my husband’s call list when he’s working. Generally, the families I work with don’t have a positive view of law enforcement (whether that be patrol officers, their probation counselors, or the corrections officers in juvenile detention). Sometimes they’ve come to that conclusion fairly and sometimes they’re biased and without any reason. Whatever their reason might be for not liking law enforcement, it’s THEIR reason and not mine. It’s not my job to change their mind.

And so, typically, I keep my husband’s profession to myself.

There’s also people in our communities and on social media (oh, the Facebook trolls!) who hate our officers. They post horrendous things and negative statuses, commenting on posts with such vulgarity. That used to really bother me. And if I’m being honest, it still does, especially when it’s on articles that my mention our department or calls my husband was on.

But it’s not my job to change those people’s mind.

My job is to support my officer, 110%. My job is to be the safe place when he comes home from a particularly rough day. My job is to be a partner to talk things through with when he’s struggling.

Those other things? I don’t necessarily think they’re my job, but I do know that they give me added stress and guilt.

Whatever your view is on how publically you support our law enforcement, I support you! If you’re someone who wears LEOW sweatshirts and has a big blue stripe on their car, awesome! And if you’re someone who changes the subject when an acquaintance brings up what your spouse does for work, that’s awesome too!

Because as a fellow LEOW I know that you’re proud of your officer and the work that they and their brothers and sisters do. I know that you support the thin blue line, and I know that your heart breaks each time we lose a member of our blue community. I know that you have struggles with this life but you are there for your officer whenever he needs you.

And that, my friend, is enough. However you choose to show your support for our thin blue line family, you are rocking it, because you are a police wife!

 

[COTE]
ammo + grace

https://ammoandgrace.wordpress.com/

An Open Letter To The Keyboard Cowards...

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Dear Family and Friends,

I see you. I see your posts that demean the work of my husband and his brothers and sister in blue. I see your posts that disrespect, belittle, ridicule and question their integrity as you sit behind a computer screen enjoying the safety afforded you by God, the American Soldier and Law Enforcement Officers.

As the wife of a police officer, your insulting posts relating to his profession offend and disgust me. I wish you could see the things law enforcement officers see and deal with. I wish you realized how them doing their job allows you the ability to live in the dreamy fantasy world you like to think or pretend exists, when it really doesn't. You may think life without many or any law enforcement might not be so bad, but that is the farthest thing from what it would be! It would be a living hell on earth without the thin blue line protecting our communities the way the do 24/7.

So, let me attempt to humanize the officer behind the badge for a few minutes and speak from the perspective of someone who lives with and loves an officer.  I know the vast majority of them often sit by silently believing in what they do, knowing who they are, and living with the reality of the evil they confront. This validates them and confirms the need for their profession. They know all this to be true while at the same time allowing you to believe that very little evil exists around you because they deal with it so that you don’t have to.

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Step into a different pair of shoes for a few minutes...

Have you ever dealt with the aftermath of a 3 month old that died at the hands of her own relatives because she was raped? Have you ever dealt with children who have been abused and forced to drink their caretakers urine? Do you rescue children who are clinging to life due to their unfit and careless parents? Have you ever dealt with a young child who survived being killed by his father when his mother and siblings weren't as fortunate? Do you deal with little children who are the innocent victims of drive-bys and see their little bodies riddled with bullets? Have you seen the family that was brutally murdered in their own home by their ex seeking revenge? Do you see the results of despair when people end their own lives and the lives of those around them? Do you have people shoot at you for trying to rescue a child they are holding hostage, or a victim they are sexually assaulting? Let's be honest for a second. Would you even think about running in and trying to save victims captured by a mad and evil man with a gun? Would you run toward danger, or away from it? Do you have establishments refuse to serve you because of the clothing you are wearing? Do you think twice about your food having hazardous ingredients or objects added to it when you order it? Do you go out to eat and sit with your back to the wall because someone might see you and execute you because of your clothing? Do you sit parked in your vehicle and fear that your life might be ended because of vehicle you're sitting in? Do you have people spit and curse at you as you pass by? Do you have rocks thrown at your car because the type of car it is...or even worse, are you shot at? Are you disliked and hated by people because of the profession you chose?  On a daily basis, do you and your coworkers think about your safety and pray God will bring you home safe after your shift is done? Do you and your coworkers feel targeted daily for your career choice? Do you see your coworkers gravely injured or even die by the hands of someone who lives in your community? Have you buried one, two, five or seven of your coworkers who lost their lives while at work? Do you see all this and go home to your family unaffected by the evil you've witnessed? 

These examples are a VERY SMALL fraction of what many officers see and deal with in this job. Yet they do so without reservation day in and day out. What about the families behind the badge and how this profession affects them? Have you ever thought about them?  

Step into another pair of shoes...

Do you go shopping or out to eat with your family and ever think about the dangers your family may face just being seen with your spouse? Do you have plans in place or discuss with your family how they should react in the event your spouse is seen by someone they've arrested before? Do you often think about the evil your spouse may face when they leave to work? Do you think about them getting injured or killed as you see them off to work? Do your children ask you if their daddy might be killed today as he pulls out of the driveway to leave for work? Do you hide from your last name on social media so those who might wish to harm your family can't easily find them? Do you ever fear having your home targeted due to your spouses profession? Does your spouse come home to you and break down because he saw children the age of your own murdered in cold blood by those they trusted? Does he come home broken because he cradled an child who was on deaths door and wished he could bring them home to give them a better life? Do your children cry and ask you not to leave to work for fear that you will be killed? Do you get on your social media and see many vilifying your profession for what someone in your line or work did?

The only thing owed to law enforcement officers is your respect and gratitude. It is because of them, you have the ability to go about a your daily life without the images of evil trapped in your mind. They may not lose their life protecting your community, but many of them often sustain serious and life altering injuries, they lose the innocence of their mind as it goes to vivid places that you couldn't imagine and wouldn't fathom your mind going. They protect so many people's perfect world!

So, please, next time you think about or are tempted to share or post an unappreciative and un-supportive post online aimed at law enforcement officers, think about and what his/her life is like. Think about their families lives. Think about the life you enjoy. It is because they chose to protect and serve your community that they fall prey to the ridicule and targeted hate.

And next time you see an officer, thank them for the often thankless job they do! Show them a small token of your appreciation. It will make their day and mean the world to them!

I owe my life and gratitude to Jesus for the ultimate sacrifice He made on my behalf, the American soldier my undying respect, support and gratitude for the sacrifices they've made, and continue to make to ensure our countries freedom, and to America's law enforcement officers my heartfelt support, utmost respect and appreciation for being the first line of defense protecting our homeland.

To those of you who support law enforcement and their families with your words of encouragement, appreciation and most of all your prayers, THANK YOU! You have no idea how much we appreciate you!

On behalf of the PROUD Thin Blue Line Wives everywhere,

Officers, we've got your SIX!  💙 

A Special Request To LEOW's Everywhere

As with everything in life there are patterns, curves and learning experiences by which our decision making process is guided and our thoughts are formed. Putting ourselves in another set of shoes can help us with a little more direct perspective. I hope this will be productive and give some helpful insights to all my fellow LEOW's who take the time to read it. :) 

Those of us who take the initiative to form wives groups/pages/blogs/organizations end up taking on a position of leadership, whether we intended to or not. Each of us has seen a need for support and we have been called to do something about it for our own communities. We don't start this journey with the purpose of being "known" in mind, or with any ulterior motives for personal public promotion. Many of the people behind the scenes are very private and do not want public recognition. However, there are those who are "self promoters". People who are out there trying to benefit or make a profit from the "support" they give. They stand to benefit from their support pages and do not fully support other LEO Wives because they have hidden agendas. 
 
You can always find the opposite in every area of life and every profession. This ones no different.

I stand in the shoes of a founder and leader of a great group (LVMPO Wives), and feel that my perspective has given me insight into the workings of many different LEO groups and pages. I am regularly in contact with wives who facilitate other LEOW groups, and I believe my interactions have given me even more insight into the struggles involved in group formation. 

Facilitating a LEOW group is a sacrificial, time consuming act of love! Service to our LEO community that pays ZERO dollars and often comes with a few who love to stir up some drama (a fun work bonus that makes you earn every dollar you aren't making!!)

Drama puts each of us in the line of fire (pun not intended) to be criticized or picked apart by others who want to tear us down because of fear, jealousy, or immaturity. You become a target to some people because you put yourself out there in a public position all because you want to join people together. It is just a part of the nature of the beast that we learn to accept as a leader in our community.

We do our best to control, prevent and contain the drama we are aware of, which often allows you the ability to escape it. We vet every request from wives who wish to join our wives groups so that everyone has a safe environment to enjoy. We do this not for fun, but for the privacy and protection of our police families. As leaders, we are the first person many of our women reach out to when tragedy strikes. We receive texts and phone calls in times of tragedy, both personal and professional and we do our best to be there for each and every person who needs us. I have been with wives who have lost their husband in the line of duty, wives who have lost their children to cancer, and police officer husbands who have tragically lost their wives. We are here for those who need us. 

We lose a lot of the privacy we enjoyed prior to putting ourselves out there to try to foster and build the supportive communities and safe haven we can all enjoy. We don't sit down and think about any of the personal downsides, pitfalls and negatives of what we do, prior to doing it....or think about how accepting your fb friend request might complicate our lives.  We are the doers that simply want to support and better strengthen our communities with you, no matter what. 

This is not intended to be a "poor me" post.  It's simply a request for all of us in the LEOW community to back and support each other for the better of our community. Are there things we could have done different and better at times? Absolutely! Life is a continuous growing and learning experience that we always must continue to build on. If someone tells you they have arrive at perfection, beware!  Bottom line is we try!  We want and need you to be on our team to help us make things better! 

Can you imagine for a minute what our communities would be like if we didn't have LEOW groups, bloggers, support pages, organizations, etc.? 

Our Blue family is only as strong as we make it. So, PLEASE, let's support, defend and have each other's backs! Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt when things are said or issues arise that we don't have all the details to! Lets look for the best in each other and not the imperfections! Let's have a little more grace for those who willingly step up and answer the call to be leaders! Let's be united, encouraging and gracious toward each other and our lives and our community will be all the better and stronger for it!

With love, and support for all the leaders out there!

Deborah Costello

President

Police Wives of America

Shout Out to the Mrs.!

Tonight we want to give a shout out with some 💙 and 👍 to all of the "Mrs." and "soon-to-be Mrs."!

Whether you have been married many years or just a few days, whether you have been part of the Law Enforcement family for years or are just getting immersed in the Academy-life, we support you!

You are not alone in manuevering this LE life. 💙

TBL Wives of Arizona Founder D's humble insight and personal perspective ~

"What I wish I knew then when we upended our stable life together and entered into this LE life -- is to just quickly learn to be flexible, knowing that schedules and work hours can, and will, change all the time. Court subpoenas will disrupt plans and he (my Officer) will get held over after shift, oftentimes without notice, regardless of what we need to do on what is supposed to be his off time, so just know sometimes it will be hard to make plans ahead of time. There is no point in getting upset, and he doesn't like it either, but unfortunately it comes with the job.

Also, you may not get a lot of time together with the atypical schedules of LE, so be conscious of making the time you do have together quality time. Put your phones and devices away and talk. It's so important to find even just a few moments here and there to nurture your marriage and relationship in the midst of what can be chaos.

Have patience through the frustrations that are out of your control and communicate with one another, but also remind yourself not to panic when he does not answer your call or text. More than likely he is just busy doing his job. Let him focus on his work and he will be in touch when, and if, he can be. Most shifts we rarely talk and that just has to be ok. His attention and focus needs to be on working and staying safe. This can be an adjustment for some people, but find things you like to do and keep your mind focused on other things.

Lastly, we are here for you as you navigate this journey with all of its peaks and valleys, so please let us know if you need anything! (Send us a private message for info on our secret wives' group.)" ~ D 💙

©TBL Wives of Arizona #TBLWivesofArizona

•• If you have any advice or insight to offer to wives entering into LE life, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. Thank you! ••

Introductory Blog

Greetings, LEOW's, Supporters and Friends!

We are excited that you have come to check out Police Wives of America and see what we are all about! We hope that you are encouraged by what you find on our site. If you are wondering why there is a need for another non-profit police wives’ organization, we hope that you will see that we exist to empower, encourage and support our Blue Family wherever they may be.

Please, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Deborah. I have been married to my husband for 12 years, 11 of them have been as a police wife. I am a stay-at-home mother to our 4-sweet rug-rats: 1 girl and 3 boys. For the first three years into this LEO wife life, I would search off and on for wives’ groups on the internet and was certain that, surely, a wives group would appear here in the Las Vegas area, our department was undergoing a hiring surge and rapidly growing.

At that time, in my search across America, there were not many wives' groups to be found specific to their cities and departments. As I met more and more LEO wives here within our department I began to realize that we all share similar struggles, including the fact that many of us were transplants to Las Vegas and knew very few people. I told a few LEO wife friends that I was thinking about starting a wives group, to which the response was very positive and encouraging!! So LVMPO Wives began and as they say, the rest is history! We, finally, had a group of ladies with whom we could all share life, who could relate to the struggles we all share being married to “city-sanitation workers”!

I know, I know! When women hear of wives’ groups, they are leery. When you get a crowd of women together in one group, no doubt there will be some level of drama. The solution to this problem is to create a group whose narrative is focused on bettering the lives of others through service to your community. We are more than just a social-club, although there is a lot of that too!! We enjoy the social interaction while focusing on helping others! I have found that having a positive mission will rally and unite a great team of individuals who share the same desire to give of themselves and their time to support. We can be a powerful force for the good of those around us and I have found there is not a better, more reliable, supportive, or powerful group of individuals who back the blue more than police wives.

Over the past 8 years, we have shared in many highs as well as some very low lows. We have cheered each other through joyous occasions such as growing families, promotions, accomplishments in our personal lives, family get-togethers and many wonderful day-to-day family friendships! We have also suffered losses within our department, both on and off duty, that have made us witness fellow wives suffer the loss of their husband, child or family member. We have also stood by one another while members of our community have faced severe health battles within their own families. I have found that both the highs and lows are better when shared with a community of supporters, which is exactly what we aim to provide for our department and other departments across America.

To a family welcoming a new baby without any family in town to rely on for support during the early days, we aim to provide support. We know what it’s like to adjust to parenthood and the sleepless nights that come with a new child. We know what it’s like to keep balance in a growing family while also living life has a police wife! We aim to encourage and support our families through meal-trains, babysitting, mentoring, and friendship as life adjusts to a new normal.

To a widow and her children who have suffered the loss of their husband/father, we want them to know that we see them. We aim to assist with everything and anything the family needs. We help with funeral details, meal-trains, occasional housekeeping, babysitting, pet care and errand running. As time passes, many people on the outside of the loss will return to their normal ways of life. The families who have suffered the loss remain broken and alone. We remember each immediate family member on their birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas, so that we may bring some sunshine into their lives. It doesn’t matter how big or small the gesture, showing unexpected thought and letting them know that their sacrifice is not forgotten is important and a huge part of who we are. We aim to show love, support, care and remembrance on special occasions.

To a family whose husband, wife or child is battling a terminal illness, the last thing we want them thinking about is how to feed their family, clean their home, pay their bills, or run errands. We aim to provide help, as requested, in all these areas. A meal train, an occasional housekeeper, a fundraising event, or even a wife who is willing to help run errands is always a blessing to these families. We aim to help them focus on time with their loved ones. Again, after the loss of their loved one, we want to check in on them and let them know that we are there for them for anything they need.

To the wife of an injured office, we provide a “Critical Incident Kit”. We want the wife sitting in the hospital to know how we can be a help to her family while they focus on recovery. We want the wife to know that we care by providing a packet filled with encouragement and useful items that let her know many are thinking of her and her family. We want to give prayers and lift the spirit of those who are living through dark days! We know that providing support through small gestures can truly lighten the burden of the situation.

To the department who has suffered the loss of an officer in the line of duty, we want to offer support as needed. It’s smart to find out where each of your departments' stations/area commands are and rally some other wives together provide meals/snacks/bottled water for each area. It’s also a good idea to find out where the Honor Guard practices for the funeral and try to provide meals for them, while they serve and honor their fallen brother/sister in arms. Honor Guard members often spend hours’ practicing to perfect honoring the fallen officer, while also mourning the loss of a friend. Officers always appreciate finding baked goods, food, drinks, snacks, encouraging notes, gift cards or goodie bags that remind them that while they support our community, we support them. We aim to boost morale during a time when morale is very low.

All of the ways suggested above are listed in much more detail here, on our “How We Can Help” tab. As someone who does not particularly enjoy writing, and taking on tasks that involve lots of writing, I hope that those who feel the same will be encouraged and motivated to take all the information and assistance which we are offering for FREE, adapt it to fit the vision they have, and make it their own. This will, hopefully, give you an idea of how your wives' group can be a huge benefit and blessing to your department and its' families, while taking out the potentially overwhelming and dreaded work of starting from scratch!

YOU CAN DO THIS! Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! ;)

With love on behalf of the Blue Family,

~Deborah