8 Reasons Police Families are Stronger than Your Average Family

This was a beautiful post I found from Melissa Littles, one of my favorite bloggers and author of Bullets in the Washing Machine.

She can be found at The Police Wife Life:

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I’ll address those lingering in the “offended by everything” category of 2015 first: The acknowledgment of one is not the equivalent of diminishing another.

Talking about what makes police families stronger is in no way suggesting any other type of marriage or relationship is “weaker.” I’m simply discussing some commonalities amongst many LEO families which make the bond of togetherness uniquely special.

1) We learn early on that compromise without resentment is fundamental.Police Families Are Stronger Than Your Average Family. Compromises are needed
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Officers are sworn to answer the call. They do not have the luxury of handpicking their duties. All LEO relationships encounter the end-of-shift call, and those middle of the night call-outs. Those calls (which extend an LEO’s regular service hours) typically come on days most inconvenient for the family — your daughter’s recital, an anniversary dinner date, your son’s basketball tournament, etc.

LEO families must learn to assign frustration where it belongs — outside the marriage and not within the control of the LEO. Tossing around blame and resentment for the uncontrollable soon becomes a moot point in the marriage. Rolling with the punches and approaching marriage as a joint effort with mutual respect leads to LEO couples that can withstand any hurdle LEO life sends their way.

2) We don’t keep score.

 

Marriage, life, raising children, jobs, self-fulfillment — it all takes constant effort. In LEO marriages there will be times when an LEO spouse will be responsible for much of the daily life tasks. Getting kids to school, the doctor, sporting events, handling finances and household duties — you may be on your own. This happens when an LEO is assigned a special detail which requires more hours, or when extra jobs or overtime is needed to make ends meet. It happens when manpower is short and shifts are long.

We have a saying in our home — “Dad may not be here as much as we would like, but when he is here, he’s ALL here.” He gives his all whenever he’s here to give it. He gives his all to his community when he’s not able to be here. He’s in no way choosing his duty over his family. He’s giving his all in every aspect of his life.

In an LEO marriage you learn quickly that the “my day was worse than your day” game is pointless. We learn to look at the entire big picture of our lives, as a team, and not as two individuals with a “who’s a better spouse” chart. If you are each giving all you have available to each other and to your marriage as a whole, there’s no need for points.

3) We know that little efforts carry the equivalent of substantial memories.

 

LEO families have the unique opportunity to make memories out of moments. Those moments turn out to be some of the memories that last a lifetime — dinners at midnight in parking lots, drive-by visits at gas stations, loading up the kids to take drinks or donuts to mom/dad and their shift buddies. We have many a memory of dad rolling by on his break so we can pass him an order of fries out the window. LEO families really understand that those small moments can make a big difference.

4) We know that family time means SO much.

 

Just as those little moments mean so much, I’ve never seen a child smile like our son when we tell him, “Dad is off for ten days, and we’re going on vacation.”

LEO families make the most of true together-time, because the daily together-time is always full of compromise and last minute changes. When the opportunity arises for a good stretch of togetherness, we make the most of it.

5) We forgive quickly, let go of grudges, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

Don’t think there’s not a bunch of hot-headed LEOWs and LEOs out there trying to make it work at home. All this “Loved Deeper, Spoke Sweeter, Tim McGraw diatribe” is not a suggestion that there are not conflicts like every other marriage; however, when you’ve dedicated yourselves to working as a team for the good of the big picture, there’s no point in harboring negativity toward one another.

We learn quickly that anger won’t change the meth heads and drunks and criminal minds that keep our lives on the ups and downs like a roller coaster. We can yell and fight, or we can commit to loving and respecting one another and venting our frustrations without being hurtful.

6) We take immense pride in our blue family, and we are fiercely loyal.

 

Nothing is deeper than our love of the blue family — the pride we take in honoring our heroes, the lengths we will go to help another LEO family, and the sacrifice an LEO family will make for another. An LEO will give his life for his brother/sister in blue.

An LEO’s widow will comfort a blue family during their darkest hours and a blue family will stand beside the loved ones of the fallen…forever. There is nothing deeper than the loyalty of those who truly live with blue blood.

7) We know tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

 

The LEO marriages that are most successful are those that live each day to the fullest. We do not live in constant fear that today might be the last day we have together. We live each day with no regrets, no “I love you’s” unspoken, no “I’m sorry’s” lingering in the air, no “I wish I would have’s” at the end of the day. Fear of loss does not inspire us. Appreciation for the day we have been given empowers us to make the most of each moment.

8) We love deeper.

 

Not because every shift could be the last, but because each day we love the most is another day of memories that will never be lost.

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Teaching My Son to Be Thankful When He’s Sad

The day before Thanksgiving, my husband had to work late.  He was set to get off early, but plans change fast for a Police Officer… he never knows what he’ll face, but he always does it bravely, and his faith and courage is like a light to us.

But my son was waiting for him to come home… he expected that his daddy would get off early so that the fun could begin.  Whenever daddy is home, he and our oldest son have the greatest time playing, wrestling, and just plain being silly-heads!

But the time came, and went, and after eating another dinner by ourselves, another bath and bedtime routine by ourselves, another tucking in and praying blessing over my son, while I was praying the blessing over him, he started to cry.  He told me through his tears how much he missed his daddy, and this has become something that happens more often than I want to admit.  My son LOVES his dad… like REALLY loves his dad, and he MISSES him at night to point of going to bed crying!

Being married to my Officer, I have to be prepared to be flexible, because he often has little control over what will dictate when he works or how late he’ll have to stay.  I don’t give him a hard time because I understand the greater purpose and reason behind him staying later than normal.  He’s usually helping someone in dire need, or catching a thief, or tracking down a stolen car, or intervening in a child sexual abuse situation and waiting for CPS to come.  His staying late means he’s being someone else’s hero, but that’s extremely hard for a 5 year old boy who just misses his daddy to understand.

Usually I comfort him and tell him to be strong and that his dad will come home and pray his blessing over him as he sleeps, I promise him he’ll see his dad in the morning.  But this time I had an idea… it was the night before Thanksgiving, and we were focusing on being thankful for everything in our life, so I decided I could help him use this opportunity to thank God for the gifts he DOES have, even wen daddy isn’t there.

He bowed his little head, and we started to pray, him repeating every word I said, together, we spoke thankfulness into his heartbreaking situation:

“Thank you God, that I have a wonderful dad.

Thank you that he loves me so much!

Thank you that he works so hard for us.

Thank you that he helps people who are in need, and deals rightly with evil people in our city.

Thank you that he prays a blessing over me each night as I sleep.

Thank you that he’s off for Thanksgiving this year, and that we’ll have him all day tomorrow all to ourselves!

Amen!”

 

A strange thing happened when we started praying, as he repeated back each sentence in his own prayer with me, I noticed that his tears stopped!  His voice tone changed.  He went from being legitimately heartbroken over missing his dad, to being filled with true, unabashed thankfulness for having such an amazing, wonderful dad!

It was a light bulb moment for me as well.  Oh how our world changes when we move from complaining about our circumstances to being thankful and joyful despite them!

And for you dear reader, I’m not sure what you’re going through right now, what trials you may be facing… but I do know this, praying that prayer with my son was a miracle.  The way it changed his entire outlook, and helped him to not go to bed with tears yet again, was such a blessing to this mommy.

I challenge you, sweet reader, to try to thank God in your tough times, to try to remember the things He’s blessed you with and take back the joy that Satan has stolen from you.

Much love and blessings!

The Warriors

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Yesterday, I stood up in front of a group of men who sacrifice everyday, put their lives on the line, to protect innocent lives, protect the helpless, and fight against evil, and tried to express to them how much our city appreciates their service.  It was humbling to stand before these officers and honor them, to offer them my gratitude; they so are often discouraged, beaten down by the weight of serving a hateful, thankless society.  They hear more insults in a week than one might in a lifetime.  Several men came up afterwards expressing their gratitude for my speech… but this is National Police Week, it is us, the benefactors of their service, who should be expressing our gratitude.

My son and I spent time this week in between chores and our cave trip, to make some cards and put together treats to try to show our appreciation.  I love this time of year, we love bringing them lunch, treats, cards, etc. but it felt even more necessary this year, after all the political unrest.

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Five days after I had our new baby, and a day after Christmas day, Daniel Greenfield wrote an article on 2014’s Person of the Year.  An avid reader of his, I found myself reflecting on it that cold December night, while my husband and his friends were out working (and I was staying up… waiting for that text or call), and taking in again, the immense sacrifice our men and women give, and how our society is set up to see to them fail, never even bothering to understand what they face daily.

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From Daniel Greenfield, Israeli born author and blogger and Journalist, featured on various popular sites such as Front Page Magazine, Truth Revolt, as well as his own blog, Sultan Knish.

As we sit here in our homes with our families and loved ones around us, tens of thousands of children wonder if their parents will come home tonight.

Their fathers and mothers aren’t stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. They’re on duty in places like Englewood in Chicago where there are 2 violent crimes for every 1,000 people in one month, Columbus Square in St. Louis or Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City where two police officers were just murdered.

The men and women of law enforcement are on the front lines of the war at home. From the mugger on the block to the terrorist on the hijacked plane, they are the first ones there.

41 law enforcement officers were shot and killed in 2014. That’s in line with the number of Americans killed by hostile fire in Afghanistan. There’s a reason that Chicago has been nicknamed Chiraq. Some parts of the country are a war zone and after the latest shooting of two police officers in New York City, a statement circulating among cops states that the NYPD has become a “wartime police department.”

The war at home has been going on for a long time and by some accounts has claimed the lives of 20,000 law enforcement officers. Since 2001, more than 700 officers have been killed by gunfire. During the Gulf War, more officers were killed on the streets of American cities than in combat against Saddam.

Even as the murders of NYPD cops Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu fill the news, Officer Charlie Kondek has been shot while pursuing a suspect in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Officer Kondek had been a former member of the NYPD. He leaves behind five children. His killer, Marco Antonio Parilla Jr, had been repeatedly arrested for the possession and sale of cocaine before being released just this August. Officer Kondek and his children paid the ultimate price for his release.

All three police officers were casualties in the war against human evil that never ends. It’s an even dirtier and more unglamorous war than Iraq or Afghanistan. And police officers are hated in a way that it’s still socially unacceptable to hate soldiers. Ramos and Liu were the latest casualties of that hatred.

The police officer is the handyman of the welfare state. His job is to put his life on the line to plug the social leaks that the sociologists, consultants and social planners who made this mess had not foreseen. It’s his job to be there for a domestic violence complaint in a Florida motel at two in the morning or a failure of multiculturalism between two warring gangs in Oakland. He goes to places that the politicians don’t like to think about and deals with issues that the welfare state created and walked away from.

Progressives don’t believe in evil. It’s the beat cop who has to believe in it and clean it up.

The planners and politicians who allocate funds for new housing projects don’t have to patrol them at night. They don’t have to walk down a narrow concrete block hallway lined with dirty doors any of which can open at any minute with a gun behind it. The drug sentencing reformers have never had to carry a deranged screaming figure through the rusting doors of an emergency room. They have never had to get their soft shoes dirty walking through puddles of blood in an alleyway.

When liberalism fails, it’s the cop who gets the call. And when he does get the call, it’s the liberals who will be the first to call for his head.

It’s not enough that the cop has to clean up for the welfare state. He also has to be its scapegoat.

The chants of “Black lives matter” aren’t aimed at the gangs and drug dealers who rack up an astronomical number of black deaths; it’s aimed at the cops who put their lives on the line saving black lives. It’s the very people whose messes they clean up who hate them the most.

The police officer has come to embody America, abroad and at home, the nation that risks its lives to free peoples only to be despised for it, the nation that extends every benefit and privilege to its own criminals only to be shot and stabbed, raped and robbed for its endless generosity.

The American police officer was never supposed to be venturing into neighborhoods where no one speaks English and the locals see him as a member of an occupying army or patrolling in communities where gang members number in the thousands and could take down the entire local police force.

He was never supposed to be a social worker, a mediator, a medic and the commander of an invading army negotiating truces and treaties with the local tribes. And yet he is expected to be all these things and more. Every time he goes out he knows that he may face a choice between his life and his career.

If cops seem touchy, isolated or out of control it’s because they have been left hanging by a system that uses them to dam up the breakdown of a society without ever acknowledging that this is their job. Many urban police officers operate in environments where crime is not an aberration, but the norm. Like the American soldier, the police officer is better trained and more effective than ever before, but like the soldier he is also haunted by the sense that his work and his sacrifices are futile and unappreciated.

The police officer isn’t spending years in Iraq or Afghanistan; he’s spending decades in Chiraq. When his time ends, there will be no victory parades. Just the knowledge that he tried to make a difference and that unlike many brother officers, at least he made it to retirement.

Officer Daryl Pierson was shot and killed leaving behind a wife and two young children. Pierson had been an experienced officer. His killer, Thomas Johnson III, had been paroled after serving three years for an attempted armed robbery.

Officer Justin Winebrenner tried to get Kenan Ivery to leave a bar. Ivery drew a gun and shot and killed him. Officer Winebrenner was a second generation police officer. He left behind a 4-year-old daughter.

Officer Perry Renn responded to shots being fired and encountered Major Davis Jr. who was carrying a semi-automatic rifle. Davis Jr. had an extensive criminal record. He fired killing Officer Renn who had survived twenty-two years on the force.

Patrolman Jeffery Westerfield responded to a fight between Carl Le’Ellis Blount Jr. and his girlfriend. He never even got a chance to draw his gun or leave his squad car before Blount shot him in the head.

Deputy Sheriff Allen Bares was off duty when he saw a gold Lexus crash into a ditch. He approached the vehicle and was shot and killed. The two men inside, Quintylan Richard and Baylon Taylor, stole his truck and took off.

The police officers in all these cases were white. Their killers were black. But the police officers in many of these cases were trying to protect black people and black communities.

The killings all took place in a matter of months in 2014. And their numbers will only continue to grow.

While the wars abroad expand or contract, this is the war that will go on. Its soldiers will serve their tours of duty for decades on the streets of our own cities without having anywhere else to go home to. And when their time is up, they will never receive the thanks that they deserve because most of us will never understand the difference that they made.

When the left took over, it was the police officer who kept everything from going under in our major cities. It was not the politician or the planner, the sociologist or the social worker who kept the crime and chaos from sweeping everything away. It was the man in blue who did what had to be done.

Under Obama, when the criminal is king and the progressive planners are changing the country in ways unprecedented since the seventies, it’s still the lonely figure in the squad car that does his duty and holds the line in a thousand dark and dirty neighborhoods where gunshots and screams sound in the night. The American police officer has become the soldier of civilization fighting to keep it alive.

And somewhere a family wonders if their father or mother will come home tonight.

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This was on the Men’s Locker Room