We Still Answer The Call

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“I pay your salary”
“You’re a f***ing pig!”
“You’re on a power trip, trying to play God”
“You’re ruining my life”

As an Officer, this is what they hear every day. People beg and plead for them to get there quickly when they are in crisis and then demonize them when they start to do their job.

Officers are beaten, dragged, choked, shot, stabbed, doused with water, set on fire, spit on, and there’s always somebody recording the reaction and screaming about police brutality. The cherry on top? There are always witnesses just sitting by and watching it happen, sometimes even lying about what occurred.

An Officer doesn’t fully realize the job they’re signing up for and the real job description. What they thought it was: Helping people and saving lives. What that actually looks like: Holding dying babies, comforting victims of domestic violence, saving drowning victims, helping people flee from burning buildings, pleading with suicidal subjects, informing family members of fatalities, pulling mangled bodies from vehicles, etc. More specifically, helping a young girl hold her jaw that her boyfriend just broke, while waiting on EMS to arrive. Letting a mother cling to them when she discovered her dead son in his bedroom. Comforting a husband who found his wife hanging from a rope on a tree outside their window. Performing CPR when they know there isn’t a chance. Finding a shoe after a fatality accident with a foot still inside. Picking up shell casings out of a pool of blood from a drive-by shooting. And all this, right before a call about neighbor disputes and noise complaints. It’s impossible for a new Officer to ever fully grasp the amount and extent of trauma they’ll be exposed to.

It’s so easy for people to criticize and claim they could do better, all while propping their feet up and scrolling through Facebook. In the same breath commenting about how triggered they are by certain words and living lives they can barely handle without medication. These are the same types of people who are free from the consequences and damage that their words cause to our society.

Nobody would do this job for a power trip, no one does this job to play God. In reality, Officers are left grappling with the aftermath of these calls, unable to process what they see until later due to having to move on to the next crisis. And even then, are they effectively able to decompress when they have a chance? The LEO suicide rate tells a different story. What the general public fails to realize is that after every incident that makes the 24-hour news cycle, those Officers involved most likely work the next day too. Day after day after day.

A bad apple, or a bad day doesn’t define most any other profession. And yet, one day can define not only someone’s entire career, but their entire lives thereafter; One bad call, one bad decision whether by fear or anger or just bad judgement in general. Can you imagine the fear and dread that comes with a career where 20+ years of dedicated public service can be eliminated, and your name tarnished forever over one YouTube video? Through all this, living in constant fear that the department who should have your back will be the first to throw you to the wolves.

There is minimal respect for cops because there is no longer respect for human kind. You can say and do whatever pops into your head without even considering the damage it causes to others. And in this electronic age, the loudest and most disrespectful people get a majority of the attention. The bad behavior of others perpetuates the problem we are continually seeing in our country.

However, this is the beauty of it all. No matter who you are, what you stand for, or what you’ve done to them, Officers will always answer the call. Even though the burden is great, and the scars remain visible, Officers can and do expect the best from each other and hold one another accountable for mistakes and fatal errors, despite popular opinion. They are heroes, they are not superheroes. They’re still human, they make mistakes, they have regrets, but most take responsibility for their errors and move on and learn from them. The challenge for them is overcoming all the prejudice, surviving the verbal, mental, and physical beatings, and somehow coming out of the job as a functional human being. The challenge is learning how to walk through fire and not get burned, but instead becoming refined. It’s not easy, but that’s why it’s so much more than just a career choice, it’s a calling.

Faith Over Fear

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“I think my mom is on drugs”.
The sentence that started it all.

Someone recently asked me, “So, what’s been the biggest adjustment for you with becoming a police wife?” and it just really got me thinking. How full circle life is, and how God just always has a plan, and sometimes it just works in funny ways. Ways that leave you hurting, crying, praying, asking “why is this happening to me?” …. just trust Him.

Growing up, I believed law enforcement and first responders alike were invincible. They were HEROES. And while they are heroes, they are definitely NOT invincible. That’s my HUSBAND out there. My BEST FRIEND, the other half of my SOUL out there!! The goofy man who makes me smile… calls me “waffle-butt” from the imprint the blanket leaves on my leg; the one that created our own country and language for that country that we pretend we are from, and speak in our made up language to each other; my dance partner; the one who calms me down and cheers me up on the hard days… THAT’S who’s out there with just a vest and his training to keep him coming home to me. 

That has been an adjustment.

GRAVEYARD. Sleepless nights. You’re supposed to be sleeping at night.. but when the other half of your heart is out patrolling the streets and protecting the city… how are you supposed to sleep?! A good friend reminds me to “live in faith vs. fear”. I like to think I’m getting better? I’m trying.

That has been an adjustment.

Going out with your sister, seeing a police car in an alley, and seeing him with his uniform on, walking with his “authoritative stance” haha. Looking at him seeing your husband, but also seeing a man that represents authority, justice, integrity, peace, and all that is good in the world; but also seeing a man that has a target on his back, a gun on his hip and a vest protecting that very same heart that you love.

That has been an adjustment.

I could go on forever, but I would say the biggest one is (even though it may sound naïve or silly being a 30 year old woman coming terms with this) but POLICE ARE NOT INVINCIBLE.

When there is something bad happening and you are scared, you call them to save and protect you. When there is danger, you call them to save and protect you. They run in and protect when others run out. And my story with the invincible police officer that I believed saved me, and that made me FEEL that I could TRUST the police, when things were scary… started when i was in the 6th grade. This is where that circle I was talking about started…

You remember D.A.R.E.? Well that class, and that police officer, Officer Lyle, (they went by first names, you know…we were kids!) changed my life forever.

Officer Lyle and his partner were giving their speech on red flags with behaviors and what to look for when it came to drug addicts; and it hit me. Little 12 year old me. All the other kids went to recess and I stayed behind, walked up to Officer Lyle and said, “I think my mom is on drugs”.

He and his partner looked at each other and seemed shocked, and began just talking to me and asking me questions. For a few weeks during our break, he would pull me aside to chat with me, and let me know he was there for me and that I could trust him…and I did.

He would even come to my house and do checks on me! One time my younger sister and I asked him if his handcuffs really worked, and he jokingly said, “want to find out?” and handcuffed us to our hose faucet on the front step of our townhouse. We couldn’t wait for him to separate us! haha!

Here I am, 30 years old, and I can’t drive by that townhouse without having a panic attack.

You know the little garage door that leads from the garage to your house? My mom put a deadbolt on it BACKWARDS, so we couldn’t get into the garage. That’s where the drug use and drug deals happened. I remember knocking on the door to the garage because I needed help with my homework. I heard an unfamiliar man’s voice yell, “you have kids here?!” and they left. I remember my mom begging them not to leave, and hearing the anger in her voice. I ran up the stairs, locked my bedroom door, and hid under my Rugrats blanket. She broke my door down and started hitting me. I interrupted a drug deal. She used to ask me to pee in cups for drug tests for her; and when I would say no, she would guilt trip me saying, “I took a Tylenol for my headache. It will show in the test. Do you want me to go to jail for taking something for my headache??” I would cry, say no, and do it for her.

I was 12.

There were men that came to our house with guns. There was yelling. There was rodents, maggots, and mold. There was times I would skip school because I had a one year old brother and my mom would be passed out on the couch and I couldn’t leave my infant brother alone with her.

I was 12.

There was times when I would go days without eating. We had nothing at some points. I would ask my neighbors for bread and cheese to make my sister a grilled cheese sandwich and I would tell myself, “its ok. I’ll eat when I go to school or to my dad’s house in a few days”. I weighed 60 pounds going into the 7th grade. I used to get teased that LEGALLY I would need to be taken to Jr. high in a car seat (thank God the law was 60 pounds OR 6 years old and not AND). But no one knew why I was so skinny, other than I was just small.

You know those tiny little bags that are for DRUGS?? My mom had some with little yellow ducks on them. I thought they were SO CUTE. They perfectly fit a quarter with a $1 bill wrapped tightly around the quarter. I used to take my lunch money in them! I even brought one for my best friend to use for her lunch money!! Until her dad said she couldn’t’ use them anymore and couldn’t come to my house anymore. I didn’t understand. 

I was 12.

Through all of this, and more, Officer Lyle made me feel like I was safe and like he was there to protect me. While my mom would tell me cops are bad and are only there to take her away from me. He made me feel safe, when I didn’t even feel safe at my own house with my own mother. He made me feel like things were going to be ok. He made me feel like I MATTERED and my safety mattered. He didn’t forget about me. He would come and do routine checks on me! He made me believe that police were heroes. He made me believe there was more to life. He made me believe I could trust him, and he made me believe things were going to get better.

My mom was arrested and did a decade between county jail and state prison. I didn’t go see her for years. One year on her birthday my grandpa physically picked me up, put me in the car, and drove me down to see her at the twin towers Correctional facility in Los Angeles. It was just like the movies, where she was in a jumpsuit behind glass, and we had a phone. It had been a few years since I had seen her. She picked up her phone and I picked up mine. Before she could speak, I asked, “When was the last time you told me you loved me?” She couldn’t answer. I hung up the phone and walked out.

Thank God I had my dad who I went to live with full time. He was tough, but he loved me.

When she got released, it was hard on me. I was confused and scared those things would start happening again. I didn’t want to go back with her. I became suicidal. I felt like a failure, I felt unlovable, I was scared she was going to get custody of me again, I was scared my life would go back to how it was and I began writing poetry of how I wanted to end it, and began cutting my self. It was a way to release the pain, until my boyfriend saw and threaten to tell my dad. I was ashamed and I didn’t want my dad to know. My boyfriend saved me.

Most of my life I have been trying to figure things out without my biological mom. I moved to Las Vegas to be with my long distance boyfriend! He became my husband! We bought a house! We were wanting to try for a family, so I had a procedure done, and it was painful. As I held the nurse’s hand crying, I asked for my mom. She wasn’t around. She was never around.

But I had my incredible husband, an incredible dad, incredible stepdad who helped with me while my mom was away (and raised my brother as a single dad!) and I have the most wonderful in-laws.

Now here’s where we go back to the circle…

My first job was a gift shop outside of an amusement park. My boss became a close friend. I broke up with my high school boyfriend and told him. He said, “I have a cousin!” I said, “give him my number!” and he did. He failed to tell me his cousin lived in another state! Haha! His cousin is now my husband. My husband, since I met him when he was 17, has always dreamed about being a police officer. I have told my husband about Officer Lyle, and my husband said, “If I can just impact ONE child the way he has impacted you, it will make the whole career worth it”.

Well my friends, my husband did it. He achieved his dream of becoming a police officer in hopes of changing the life of at least one lost child. He achieved his dream of being a police officer just like his Uncle John. John, who by the way, is my old boss’s dad. John was on the same police department as Officer Lyle. From childhood…that same childhood that stemmed from pain, trauma and feeling unloved, God had already connected me to my husband. God lead me to him from across state lines from childhood. That has only reaffirmed my faith in the Lord and to trust in His plan. It also helps me with living in “faith vs. fear” that my friend reminds me to do when things get hard. I tell myself, “God wouldn’t have put him in my life the way he did to take him away from me”.

And now, here I am, 13 years later. Happier than ever. And a wife of a police officer, sharing my story. Who knew this would be how my life would turn out? Well the Lord did, and I’m so glad I trusted in Him, and his crazy plans for me.

End Of The Rope

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There was a point in my marriage years ago where I felt like I couldn’t hang on another minute. He had changed, (I’m sure I had too) and our marriage was in utter chaos. I even sat down and began looking for divorce lawyers and contemplated packing up and leaving numerous times. Our every conversation became heated and contentious, there was no peace in our home, no reprieve from the anger we were both drowning in. At the height of this, I suffered a miscarriage and began to withdraw from my husband even more. 

It’s funny how a relationship can change. You start out happier than you’ve ever been, and slowly over time, the more selfishness creeps in, it starts to destroy what was once your happiest state of being. I used to sit and contemplate how we got from point A to point B, wondering if we could ever go back, or if we even wanted to. There had been many things that had already occurred in our relationship leading up to this point, and baggage that had scarred us from even before we met. 

We had young kids at the time this all came to a head and I felt ahuge lack of support. He wasn’t leading our home like I thought he should, and our marriage wasn’t what I had envisioned having. This led me to contemplate a lot of choices I had made previously and wishing I had chosen different. I began to go down a path of extreme dissatisfaction and I began to become bitter that he hadn’t turned out to be what I had hoped he would be initially. The more I expressed this, the angrier it made him, he felt beaten down, unloved, and disrespected. In our fighting, words were thrown around loosely and carelessly, words that couldn’t be taken back and cut deeply. Perhaps, I had set the bar a little too high and had placed the idea of him on a pedestal that couldn’t be reached, and he felt he could never live up to my glorified standard. Looking back now, I think I was suffering from my past trauma and was unknowingly sabotaging my life in a way. 

I found myself clinging to a thread of the end of my rope, so to speak. Looking into our future, the amount of work we would need to put into our relationship was daunting to say the least. I would continually think, “wouldn’t it just be easier to walk away and start fresh?” The truth is, if you hang on long enough you will find strength you never knew you had. Facing the hardest trials of your life can sometimes feel like walking through fire; though you are burned, you come out on the other side more refined. Beauty comes from the ashes.

Eventually, we had to make a change, we were both tired of being miserable and somehow miraculously came to that conclusion around the same time. We decided together that divorce and destroying our family would not be an option for us, we would not let the past define our future and we were going to fight like hell to save our marriage. 

If this is you, I know you are hurting, I know you think you can’t hang on another minute. Don’t allow your issues to overcome your marriage, whatever they may be. When you feel you are at the end of that rope, tie a knot and hang on. With time and perseverance, that commitment will be honored if you can both throw selfishness to the wayside. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and I don’t promise it will be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it. You and your husband are together for a reason, there are always going to be obstacles, and you are meant to conquer them together.

One Wife's Journey To Finding Her Fairytale

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My story starts out like a fairy tale. I had just broken my engagement off with my son’s father, and for the first time felt really FREE. I was enjoying a girl’s night out at a local honkey-tonk. I knew Mike from the bar that I was a bartender at a few years prior. When he came up to me, and asked me to dance, I said “no, but I know you”, and reminded him who I was. He and I spent the next couple hours talking, and after that night I knew my freedom was in trouble. I was smitten. The next couple of months were a whirl wind.

Mike and I fell hard and FAST. He was AMAZING with my son (who was 3 at the time), my parents loved him, and gosh he was HOT. He was also the POLAR opposite of my son’s bio dad. He proposed a year later, and I had my DREAM wedding 2 years later. Things were good for a couple years, but there were signs. He would often go out, and not answer the phone/texts when I called. I worried about him CONSTANTLY, but I adjusted. We fought. We made up. We fought again. The cycle was LEGIT.

We started trying to get pregnant immediately after we got married. I wanted our baby and my son to be as close in age as possible. This added an additional strain, but kept us occupied and allowed for more excuses to be made for him. We finally got pregnant a year later. And, then things were GREAT for a while. He was moved to UC Narcotics, and LOVED his job. I felt like my fairy tale was back on track.

Fast forward 17 weeks. Went in for an ultrasound, only to find out something was VERY wrong with our baby. VERY, VERY wrong. The next few weeks felt like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. We said goodbye to our sweet, precious angel at 24 weeks. The son we prayed our and begged God to let us keep. I did really well the first couple days. We were sad, but we did ok. I remember very clearly day 5. I got into the shower, and a light switch SWITCHED. I started screaming for Mike to get me my pump. I needed to feed our baby. I was in complete breakdown, psychotic mode. Let me tell you.  If you’ve ever experienced something like this, you will be FOREVER changed.

Mike had to take a leave of absence. He had to remove ALL weapons/objects out of our house. I had to have COMPLETE 24/7 supervision. I belonged in a hospital, but I had an amazing OB, who allowed Mike to watch me at home. I started medication, and he had to bring me to her office every day at 5 so that she could check my progress. I only spent a week in that scary place, but it felt like a lifetime. Once the medicine started working, the dark fog was lifted. If you’ve ever come out of a scary depression, the world becomes BEAUTIFUL. The grass, birds, all the things.

Back to my fairy tale life. It was coming out of that episode that I became completely devoted to my husband. He was my hero during that. He not only lost his son, but he almost lost his wife. I had so much guilt related to what I put him through. I started to idolize him. Truly. He became a god to me. And, boy did he exploit that. He loved having no consequences for actions. We found out we were pregnant almost immediately. Lost our son in October; pregnant in December. I was in NO way ready to be pregnant again. I had to see a high-risk OB weekly throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t bond with my daughter until I was released by the OB. It was a really TOUGH pregnancy emotionally.

March of 2009 was our son’s due date. I was 5 months pregnant with our daughter, and still trying to heal from the loss of our son. Mike decided that he would go on a guy’s fishing trip that week. I was alone and he was “dealing with the loss” in his own way.

Mid-way through that trip, I was awakened by a phone call from one of his friends. “Mike’s been arrested for a DWI. He needs a lawyer”.

The shock, fear, and utter terror that followed is something I pray I never have to endure again. We grew closer during that time. We became “Team Ford”, and we fought. The charges were eventually dropped, and our fairy tale returned. For a while.

We welcomed our daughter 3 weeks early, and 10 months TO THE DAY we lost her brother. Things were AMAZING for a couple of years. Looking back, I guess I always knew he was potentially cheating, but I never had proof until August 2016. The kids and I went on a trip, and he stayed home, but off work. We owned a boat at the time, and he spent the week on the lake with our friends. I came home to a SPOTLESS house, and him ALL OVER ME. That was my first indication that something was not right. I went to a girl’s dinner a couple nights later and one of my friends that was there was acting SO weird. Like crazy weird. She wouldn’t talk to me, she was obviously annoyed and I couldn’t figure out what her problem was. The next weekend the kids and I went to a birthday party, and this same friend was WORSE this time than before. At one point she was nowhere to be found, and her young son was crying for her. I scooped him up (like I had done a million times), and we were playing in the pool. Next thing I know, she is yanking him out of my arms, and storming off. I’m legit dumbfounded. It bothered me so much that I sent her a text later apologizing to her. Yes. I APOLOGIZED to HER. For what, I wasn’t sure, but apologized for anything I did that possibly upset her. She sent back a text telling me it wasn’t me.  She was fighting with her boyfriend, and it was all good between us.

Back to my fairy tale. But not really. Something told me to go check our phone records. I did—and started looking up every number he called. There was one that was on there OVER and OVER. I decide to call it. I type in the number and “her name” popped up. Wait-what?! Why would my friend be calling him at all hours of the day/night?! Then it all clicked. I was not only betrayed by my husband, but also my friend. Mike wasn’t home at the time for me to confront him. He was replacing his tires. Something told me to check out our favorite bar. So I did. Sure enough, they were both there.

I parked and went inside. That ended with him scared to death, and her getting a vodka-water thrown in her face. He came home that night and said “I guess I’ll leave”. I absolutely refused that notion. We had been through SO much!! It was time for “TEAM FORD”. That is what we knew. The next few months were AWFUL. I caught them continuing to talk. I saw him say things to her that he had never said to me. She threatened she was pregnant. She threatened to kill herself. She told him she would ruin his career because she had proof he was meeting her on duty. It was a NIGHTMARE.

He and I slowly got back to a new normal for us. We were doing ok...or so I thought. December 26th, 2016, EVERYTHING changed.

He asked me to meet him at our favorite bar. I got so excited! Yes! A day date with my man!! I don’t remember much about that day, other than he kept feeding me shots, and I don’t normally take shots. One minute I’m taking a shot, and the next, EMS is there waking me up. I have no idea how I got to my car, but I PRAISE God that I didn’t drive. Mike was asking EMS to take me in, and they didn’t want to. They told him with our careers being a cop and nurse, just to get me home. So, Mike got me home, but was clearly angry. We get home, and he point-blank looks at me and says “I’m sleeping with every girl at that bar; and I’m going to continue to do so”. I slapped him. Immediately regretted it, but he called 911.

Now, mind you, he’s 6’5, and a trained killer. I am 5’4 WITH heels. The police officers arrive and find all of this obnoxious and ridiculous. I am asked to leave for the night. What ends up happening is that he and I are both Victim 1/Suspect 1, and Victim 2/Suspect 2.

I get home the next morning and ask him to leave. He did. Three days later Mike was put on administrative leave pending a DV investigation. He called and begged me to have his side when Internal Affairs called. I was called into an interview and I went. COMPLETELY threw myself under the bus for him. Made myself look like a monster to save him. Didn’t help him though. Mike was a Lieutenant at the time, and he was ON CALL that night. Looking back, I know he would never have the courage to leave me...and I was set up that night. Had I gone to the hospital OR jail, that would have given him the story “I had no choice but to leave”.

Even after that, I still loved him, and wanted to make us work. We started to reconnect. I was seeing a Christian counselor three times a week. I knew God was the center of my life, so I just let go and allowed God to move.

March of 2017 mike came home. OH HAPPY DAY🏼🏼. I cooked. I cleaned. I offered myself sexually every night. Things were GOOD! Back to my fairy tale! But, just like in times before, it was short lived. Mike was asleep and his Facebook messenger dinged. Facebook was the devil and how I saw most of the gross things related to his first affair. I got his phone and it was from another woman. I woke him up, and asked who she was and why was she in his inbox. He came UNGLUED. Told me she worked with him, and she was inquiring about an officer who had recently passed. I felt AWFUL. I knew the officer he was referring to. I had just, that day, taken dinner to his widow. Little did I know how right I was to be alarmed with this woman.

Our 10-year wedding anniversary was May 2017. He didn’t come home on time, and had nothing in his hands, as far as even a card. That was my straw. I told him that either we go to counseling together or I could no longer live this way. He told me to jump in the lake, and moved out a month later. It was about a month into our separation that my daughter comes home and tells me all about a girl.  She teaches kindergarten and is really nice. I was a little confused. See, at this point, we were still intimate. I am not sure why; but it felt “right”. I go on a mission to find out who this “girl” is and I confront my husband about her and he tells me that she is a kindergarten teacher in a neighboring district. I have friends in that district. I find out he’s full of crap. The truth always comes to light though. My sister-in-law accidentally tells me that his girlfriend is a cop that he works with. I immediately think back to the other woman. Put two-and-two together and find out that he’s sleeping with his subordinate and allowed her to meet our daughter under an alias. Can you say crushed? Angry? All the things? I do more digging and find out that the affair started in October 2016, and she was likely the reason that he set me up in December. Basically, he cheated on not only me, but mistress number 1. 

At that point, everything made sense, and surprisingly I was ok. I told everyone that would listen about the relationship. His dirty secret caught up with him a year after our domestic and he was yanked from patrol and moved to booking at the jail. Karma allowed me to bask in her glory for that...

Meanwhile, I think it’s perfectly fine for me to start dating...I had allllllll the apps...tinder, bumble, POF, match...all of them. The attention was AWESOME, but that all changed the day another man walked into my life. I never could have DREAMED God would give me a man like this. He is patient with me (I’m a bit of a hot mess) and he is gentle. He loves my kids. He is an AMAZING steward of finances; something I never had. Mike’s money was his, and his alone. I laid awake MANY nights worrying about how we would make ends meet. This man LOVES me with his whole heart. I know that he would never betray my trust, and that says a lot considering...

I still believe in marriage. I still believe that marriages can be saved. I still advocate for working on your marriage. I still believe you have to EARN your way out of a marriage. You have to FIGHT until you know in your heart you did all you could.

I still grieve my marriage, but I know that I fought all I could. 

More than all of that, I KNOW, and am living proof that BEAUTY rises from ashes. I am a better person because of what I went through. I take NONE of my trials for granted. 

My story is painful. But, it’s beautiful. And, I’m grateful God gave this life to me.

Finding Freedom From Humiliation

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Humiliation. Many live with shame and are bound by that humiliation. They struggle in silence alone and are kept back from being able to live life to the fullest potential for which they were created. Others have been able to survive, overcome and thrive, by God's grace, after the same kind of difficult situations which impacted and shaped their life so greatly. 

Have you ever been humiliated in any point of your life by something you’ve said or done, or by the actions and choices of someone to whom you are close and whom you love? If you have, know you aren’t alone.

When we are the one responsible for the choices made which bring humiliation upon ourselves, we understand that our actions have consequences and, therefore, accept the "fallout"--as the blame ends with us. There are, however, so many different choices people make which bring severe humiliation to others who have no control for those actions and this can cause them to withdraw into dark, lonely, isolated places in their lives as a result of that person's choice. 

I will give a few examples... 

Parenthood: How many parents do you know that have done fantastic jobs raising great children? Yet, sometimes, those children, as adults, venture away from the right path and make really bad choices, which are humiliating to their parents. The parents are powerless and no longer have the ability to control the actions of that independent, adult child living out their own poor choices in this big, chaotic world.

Marriage: You may know a wife or husband who has discovered that their spouse was unfaithful--having an affair? That faithful wife or husband, and oftentimes children, feel humiliated by people knowing that the person whom they loved and trusted betrayed them. That person's actions, over which they had no control, completely turned their lives upside down. 

Suicide: We see this tragedy more and more these days, deeply affecting so many people in various ways. At times that devastating choice is made by a loving husband, wife, child, parent, or friend, and those from the outside look to the closest person in that individuals life looking for answers to all the "why's"? Some may wonder what was going on behind closed doors in that relationship. Questions regarding the apparent instability causing that individual to take such an action might be asked about the parent of a child. How were the signs missed that could have prevented such a tragically fatal ending? The people closest to the deceased person can feel very humiliated by rumors or feelings of inadequacy, which would allow their loved one make that tragic and heart-shattering choice.

False Accusations: Have you ever had someone you thought to be a friend, co-worker or even someone you don't know, lie about you? Maybe, they took to the internet to humiliate you with a lie, or in an effort to get back at you for your beliefs or something they didn't like, or maybe they are envious of you? They make you out to be a horrible person and monster to those who don't know you from Adam. You can’t control where that misinformation, deceit and hatred travel with the power or the World Wide Web at their fingertips. 

Yet, there are many examples throughout history, which we can find and to which we can relate. When I read through the Bible, I find stories of people who experienced humiliation, as a result of their own personal choices or actions.

A few that come to mind: 

Adam and Eve - This first man and wife ate the forbidden fruit and immediately felt exposure, guilt and shame. Through that action, sin entered the world and with it humiliation. 

Samson - His weakness for women lead him to Delilah. She was his down fall and it ultimately resulted in his very humiliating and public death.

King David - He looked lustfully on another man's wife (his very own loyal soldier's wife, Bathsheba) and followed through with his adulterous desires by abusing his power and sleeping with her. When he learned that she was pregnant with his child, he tried to cover up his sin and the humiliation that would follow, but it didn't work. So, he ordered her husband to be moved to the font lines of battle to be killed! This faithful soldier and friend was out honorably fighting for King David! 

Adulteress woman - Her self-righteous accusers brought her and put her in the midst of where Jesus was teaching, seeking for Him to condemn her to death for her adultery. Yet, He chose to send her away without further humiliation or condemnation, telling her "to sin no more". 

These are a few who experienced humiliation as a result of poor choices made by others, which were beyond their control.

Joseph - He made an attempt to guard his reputation by fleeing from temptation, which was set before him, yet, the "lie" that the Potiphar's wife told concerning Joseph, landed him in prison for many years. 

Job - God said their was none more righteous on earth than Job. He told the devil he was allowed to do anything to him, except take his life. He lost all 10 of his children in a tragedy, raiders stole his livestock and he lost most of his servants. Then, he also suffered severe health issues and his own wife told him to curse God and die. 

The Prodigal Son's Parents - Their son left home, squandering all his portion of the inheritance, living a very shameful life. 

Jesus - He was a perfect man that had a spotless record for the life He lived, yet He suffered the greatest humiliation for mankind, so that we could have a future with Him in Heaven. He was nailed to a cross on top of a hill--stark naked--exposed to the public view of all who passed along that way. They cast lots for His garments, spat on Him, mocked Him and put a crown of thorns on His head,  while hailing Him King of the Jews. He was continuously ridiculed, falsely accused and died a criminal's humiliating death, even though He was innocent. He experienced and endured the ultimate humiliation out of pure love.  

Although we many never fully know why God allows things to happen the way they do, we can trust His plan and His heart. God often uses the painful situations we go through as a platform by which we can help others who are walking those rocky and painful roads we've traveled. We can bring hope, encouragement, empathy, support and a comforting understanding to a situation where the person feels so broken, hopeless and alone. When those hard situations we endure have no purpose in our life, they can become our prison that bind and shackle us to that pain and humiliation, by which the devil seeks to keep people confounded, and his plan or intent succeeds, as it hinders us from being effective in helping others. If we find purpose in our pain, we can find healing in the process. "...who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:4). 

If you fall into the category of BEING the one who brought humiliation on yourself or you family or friends, know that there are forgiveness and new beginnings! King David was a man after God’s own heart! When he failed, he repented and got back up! God is a God of forgiveness and second chances! 

If you fall into the category of being the one who had no control over the actions of others, know that this is only a chapter in your life. You can’t strategize how to return someone who’s turned away or taken their life. Other people’s actions don’t define you. Find your identity in the One Who created you with purpose and gave you life! The Bible says that the latter part of Job’s life was more blessed than the beginning! That’s amazing! God can restore, renew, and repair things in ways that exceed what our minds can fathom! 

Be still and know there is a God in Heaven! He knows exactly what it was like to suffer the ultimate humiliation! My hope and prayer is that this will bring peace and freedom to anyone struggling with shame, embarrassment or humiliation as it can be a debilitating prison in peoples' lives.

Remember, friend! You are loved! You are strong! You have value! You have worth! You have purpose! You can make a difference!

Much Love,

~Deborah 

#dontshameblame #humiliation #breakthepowerofshame #findyourfreedom #philippians2vs8and9

Fighting Complacency: The Marriage Killer

Google defines complacency as: feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

Synonyms: smugness, self-satisfaction, self-approval, self-approbation, self-admiration, self-congratulation, self-regard; More gloating, triumph, pride; satisfaction, contentment; carelessness, slackness, laxity, laxness, laziness

But, in a relationship or marriage, complacency can be brutal and deadly. All too often, we find ourselves becoming too comfortable in our marriage that we stop doing the things we did originally in order to keep our spouse happy and feeling loved. It could be little things such as random sweet or inspirational text messages to just because gifts. We all are guilty of getting caught up in the flow of life and forgetting the little things we did in the beginning that attracted our spouse to us.

It seems these days that complacency is a huge problem in relationships. Most don’t see it because it disguises itself in the form of contentedness and comfort-ability.  Complacency can be the beginning of the end so to speak... You find yourself only doing enough to maintain what you have with your partner, and you’re not pushing yourself or your relationship to become better or stronger and doing the tiny things you did in the beginning. 

Eventually, this will leave your partner feeling as if they aren’t loved or getting the attention they need or deserve even when that isn’t the case. In Law Enforcement Families this is easiest to do, due to the stress and hectic schedule you face daily. 

In my marriage, my husband and I recognize complacency to be a huge killer of marriages and have vowed to never allow it to sneak up on us. With my husbands job, I’ve always felt as if it was my duty to make sure home and in my arms was his peace. With that being said, here’s a few ideas to be sure you don’t fall into the rut of complacency: 

1. Make time to be Grateful- Daily or at least weekly, find ways or words to express to your LEO how much you love them and are thankful to have them in your life. Point out the characteristics they posses that make you happy or smile. 

2. Practice Empathy- Think about what your partner wants and why and how you can give love in a way that [they] want to receive it. 

3. Hold Hands- As simple as it may sound, holding hands while sitting together or while in public, gives a sense of connection. 

4. Household Chores- Many Wives do not agree with this however this is a no brainer for myself... I know how amazing it feels to come home to a clean house, clean laundry and dinner cooked. Therefore, I try to reciprocate that for my LEO. After his super stressful and hectic day, I strive every single day to be sure that all he has to do is come home to myself and our family. This can give him a sense of peace that I spoke of earlier as well. 

5. Spice Things Up In The Bedroom- it is pretty common for couples who have been together for a period of time to lose that va va voom in the bedroom.  This allows the passion to fade and for things to become “bland” in the bedroom. Change things up, reignite that spark! Talk about things, add some passion some role play, some fantasies (within reason) 

6. Put the phones down- Many couples come home and crawl in the bed only to pick up theirs phones and basically ignore each other. This can cause a physical disconnection with your partner... Take the time to put the phone down and ask your partner question such as how their day was, how they are feeling and talk about things going on in your lives. 

With all of this being said, you don't have to do all of these suggestions every day but adding a few in here and there can keep your relationship from becoming complacent and making your partner happy, all while preserving the connection you have as a couple.  

Much love ladies 

-Kelly Parks 

The Phone Call We All Dread...

When you’re sitting at home minding your own business, your husband has just left for night shift, and you get a text message from your LEO saying, “A trooper was just shot a county over.” It wasn’t a phone call for me, but I know someone else was getting that call. THAT call that we all in the back of our minds and are praying we never get. That call that rips the world from under you and takes the breath right out of your lungs. I knew a family was watching all of this happening on the internet, Facebook, and the news and wondering if that could be their loved one. Surely not…these things happen to other people. They only happen in big cities like Chicago, NYC, Miami, etc. Surely not in our little town. But they happen. It happens on a routine traffic stop. On a simple call for service. No big deal, just another regular stop. Until it isn’t. Until you’re picking up the phone to hear that horrible news. “Your loved one has been shot.”

As I sat in my house last night with my two dogs, I sank to the kitchen floor and cried out for the families. Not just of the officer yesterday, but those who, in just 15 short days of the new year, have buried their loved ones. Kids without parents, brothers and sisters lost, sons and daughters buried way before their time. And even though I didn’t know these people personally, I felt a real personal connection. I felt their pain, their anguish, but I still couldn’t imagine what it would be like to get that call. But the connection I feel to anyone who is a part of this blue family understands that. We don’t know each other personally, but we know. That’s one of the many beautiful sides of the blue community; we all get it. We all know you can’t sit at home day in and day out worrying about our LEO at work because it will drive us crazy, but we do. We know it is a very real possibility that they may not come home after this shift, but still we kiss them goodbye and tell them to be safe. Because it seems like every time we turn on the news or scroll down Facebook, another officer has been shot. We try to push this out of our minds, but we still worry. We hope and pray that God will walk with them through whatever danger they may face. You can talk to any blue family member and they will tell you the same thing. They will tell you how they worry all the time about their LEO, but the officer loves their job. Because, despite all the senseless crimes done against an LEO, they still put their uniform on and go to work. They protect and serve. They strive to make this dark cold world a better place. Because it’s what they love. So, as I sat and cried for these families, I also thought about the amazing community they have to support them.

No matter what, no matter who, when that call comes in, we the community are ready. We are ready to fight back, to lift up, to pray, to lend a hand, to help heal. We have each other’s six. Period. No matter how much my mind races, how much my heart pounds when I hear sirens in the middle of the night, no matter how scared I am for my husband and his coworkers, I know I have support. I know the countless people who love the line understand. I pray for the families that get the call. I weep for them. But this strong, courageous group of people we get to support is something like no other. So, in these times of tragedy, I want to say thank you. Thank you to all the officers that continue to protect and serve despite the fear I know they have. Thank you to the wives across the nation that spring into action when we hear a sister in need. Thank you to the citizens who try to help fallen officers, who stay with them until help arrives. Thank you to the family members of LEO’s. This is no easy burden to bear. But with such a strong backbone to guide us through, how could we not be proud? I back the blue because I love my husband. I back the blue because, despite all the things that could go wrong, they still try to make the world right.

I pray for my community, for those we have lost, and for those who need guidance. I pray this violence against people simple doing their jobs to serve others stops. I pray for the families who get the phone calls. I pray for the violence to end.

Jennifer Cranford – NC LEOW

Your Husband Is A Cop? That Must Suck!

“Your husband is a cop? That must suck!” 

I hear it everyday. No, it doesn’t bother me anymore. The thing is - it does suck. But it would suck more if I worried. If I spent hours on end fabricating stories of what if’s and counting the minutes since I last heard from him. It would suck more if I didn’t have faith. It would suck more if I didn’t trust the guys on his shift to have his back. 

In today’s world trust me, I have so much to worry about. There were 148 LEO deaths in 2018 and so far this year there’s already been 6. Those stats are pretty pathetic. They’re pitiful. They’re gut wrenchingly painful to think about. 

Every morning I have to kiss my husband goodbye after he suits up in his uniform and goes in service. I watch him kiss our 5 month old goodbye and tell him to “have a good day buddy. Daddy loves you”. In my heart I do my best to not think about the what if’s. But on the bad days, the what if’s cloud my memory. They consume my mind all day. I think “what if that’s the last kiss he gives our baby?” “What if I don’t get another hug at the end of this shift”. I’d lose my mind if I thought about these things constantly. But Id be lying if I said I didn’t lay awake some nights with these terrible thoughts creeping back up. 

I’ll be honest, the media makes it worse. The media broadcasts things before families even have a chance to find out & process what’s happened. The media is so insensitive to such sensitive matters. They try and make it better by saying “our hearts go out to the family of....”. No. Your heart doesn’t go anywhere. You just posted about an officer who was shot and you’ve got an entire shift worth of spouses who can’t get ahold of their LEOs wondering if it was their own! Wondering if their husband, wife, father or mother is coming home tonight. The sad thing is, when I can’t get ahold of my LEO for hours on end, the first thing I do is check our local news station. Because they’ll be the first to know. Then they’ll have “live coverage” which is really just 35+ vehicles with lights flashing, 14 or so EMS and a handful of fire trucks, with no other information leaving every spouse to worry until they get a call that they’re LEO is safe. It’s absolutely heartbreaking that this is the world we live in, that families don’t get a chance to process anything before media takes over. 

The truth is, our days are numbered. The same God that knows the hairs on my head, has already numbered my husbands days. He numbered them before he was born. This entire world is dangerous. He could be hurt or taken from me doing many other things. If I spent all of my time worrying about what could be, I would lose my sanity. 

So yes, it does suck. But it doesn’t suck because my significant other is a LEO, it sucks because we have to worry that they might not make it home. I have to worry that I may get a knock on my door with devastating news. It sucks because people are in such a hurry they don’t slow down and move over to avoid hitting an officer. It sucks that they’re targeted, while trying to serve others. It SUCKS that they’re in this profession to HELP but they wind up HURT! 

🖤💙🖤


Brittany Harakas - SC LEOW


#EndLEOviolence #IveGotYourSix #ThinBlueFamily#RememberTheFallen

Blue Marriage Heartbreak

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“Blue Marriage Heartbreak”

This year we are going to tackle some uncomfortable topics, but as a community, these conversations are necessary to discuss so that we can improve on them. One of the biggest complaints the public has is how we try to “cover up for our own”. In some respects, I agree, enough is enough on the silence for these important issues.


One of the most prevalent problems we’re facing within the blue community is infidelity. This “epidemic” is running rampant in our community and it is completely and totally unacceptable to be looking the other way anymore. This problem is literally shattering and tearing families apart left and right. Families that are already struggling with every other issue we face daily.


I scratch my head at why this is not dealt with more severely within departments upon discovery, because it is usually between coworkers or dispatchers. Now I’m going to warn you, this is where you will start to squirm. Very rarely is an affair taking place with someone not affiliated with the profession. Not only does this reflect poorly on the officer and their decision making, it’s an embarrassment for the honorable officers who have integrity. It is a deliberate smear to the face of their profession that is already severely scrutinized. Not only that, but if an officer is willing to be deceptive, to lie and deceive their spouse and family for an indefinite amount of time, what else will they cover up and lie about? This is a character problem, which is why you think departments would care more.


To speak directly to these officers contemplating or who are already involved in an affair….no man or woman is worth the fallout of what will occur after your affair. It’s never worth it, and yet you’re left with a destroyed family that you created yourself. Is it worth having everyone question your integrity for the rest of your career? (Or your life, for that matter.) It's embarrassing and it’s downright shameful. No matter your marriage situation, no one EVER deserves to be disrespected in this way. Especially doing this to someone who has your back when no one else does. How can you hurt the one person, who has no doubt sacrificed everything, including their own happiness, for you? This is by far the most humiliating thing you could ever do to your spouse, the person you vowed to cherish and uplift for the rest of your life.


To the ladies having affairs with taken officers, who we so lovingly refer to as “badge bunnies”, step off. Think about the families you are destroying, the children who now have parents in chaos because you find it fun to hunt for sport. You are merely fulfilling your own desires and feeding your overblown egos. You are part of the problem, and you should feel ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with yourself. If you are a cop as well, you give good female cops a bad name in a male dominated force that already has its own set of challenges. Tread carefully, because one day that wife on the other side of this might be you.

   

Now let’s talk about why this occurs. I highly doubt that people go into an affair with the intention of hurting anyone. In this profession you encounter many catastrophic events. Be especially vigilant after facing one because statistically you are more likely to start searching for ways to cope. After something life altering, you will search for anything that brings you happiness, and it can be a very slow fade. Departments are a huge part of this problem, because a grand majority of them do not provide adequate counseling, (which is usually peer, and not professional) and their advice can be downright horrible. If you experience a tragedy, TALK about it, don’t shut your spouse out. Seek professional help immediately, because most departments do not prioritize their officer’s mental health and well-being.   


When you put on that uniform, you represent more than just yourself. So, step back and ask yourself if having an affair and destroying your life and family is worth it. If it is, then your spouse deserves better than you, and you probably chose the wrong profession.

-Alyssa

#canigetanamen
#valueyourmarriage
#seekhelp
#bluemarriage
#dontbeastatistic

*Edit* a divorce statistic has been deleted, due to an opinion that it is false. I've deleted it so it doesn't further distract from the material in this post.

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