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12-10-07, 06:57 PM #1
If the badge ever gets too heavy...
Inspired by another thread, I began to reminisce about boyhood days and times that I shared with the two peace officers who influenced me most, my Dad and my older brother.
I remember how cool I thought it was, watching my Dad sling his shoulder holster on over his shirt and tie, with his impeccably-cleaned Colt Gold Cup dangling under his left arm, before slipping into his sport coat. He was long on conventional wisdom -- what I have come to know now as common sense -- but harsh and direct more often than I cared to admit openly. I remember much of what little he said being eye-rollingly cryptic to me as a kid, but in contrast now so brutally honest and, with a shared perspective, so strikingly profound. I almost never saw a badge on him, it stayed pinned to the inside of his wallet, but the fact that he was "government property" on the job was never a concealable trait. It showed in his walk, his talk, his bearing, his wingtips, and his wit... or perhaps more of a giveaway at times, his lack of any wit, whatsoever. He left the job when I was still young, vying for and gaining status higher in State administrative ranks, but he never turned his commission in. I did that for him, three days after we buried him. My older brother, a rebellious one at first, climbed the ladder at a department intentionally foreign to my Dad's "zone of influence." He wore a uniform for 19 of his 28 years on the job.
I remember a particularly dark night when the phone rang and Dad came bursting out of his room. "Your brother's hurt, get your ass up and dressed," my Dad barked from the hallway.
I hurried into mismatched clothes and we were off in Dad's State car, hurling down the silent wet streets at a break-neck pace. Dad was dragging on his cigarettes at an amazing rate, about two puffs per filterless Chesterfield, cursing under his breath as he exhaled. When we got to the hospital, he growled at me, "just stay on my ass and keep your mouth shut". I knew better than to even reply.
When we lit past the nurse's station, no one challenged him, it was as if they knew better. Dad never asked where my brother was, but he walked straight to, (and straight through) the curtain (and the officers) surrounding my brother's gurney. I still remember that sight all too well. He was unrecognizable, battered about the face. Although one side of his head was definitely my brother, the other was some hideous violence-twisted malcreation of dried blood and swollen flesh. He was tubed, taped, strapped, and stiff-necked, still, his easily recognizable masonic ring wrapped around his blood-stained finger confirmed him for me.
"Goddamnit boy," Dad choked, "I hope that bastard looks worse than you do..." The recognizable half of my brother's face pursed a dreary smile. His one functioning, yet blood-invaded eye rolled wincingly over to the figure standing above him.
"Hey, Daddy", he grunted, "yeah, he's in pretty shitty shape too, a couple of curtains over. The dog wasn't kind to him at all. They had trouble pulling him off. He's waiting on a surgery Doc now." He muttered as best as he could, without the ability to move his tortured jaw. He didn't speak clearly, but given the circumstances, we understood what he said pretty well.
A foot pursuit of an armed robbery suspect had led my brother and his canine into an alleyway. The dog did his job flawlessly, taking the thug down and holding him as his handler (my brother) caught up. As the suspect cried and begged for mercy, my brother called the dog to a sit/stay, only to meet a piece of galvanized pipe wielded by the robber from behind his back. The result was a crushed cheekbone, broken jaw, closed hairline skull fracture, a blown eyesocket, and one highly pissed off canine...
We once had a thread on LEF which asked, "When did this job become real to you?" I can honestly say for me, it must have been that night, long before I ever pinned my own badge on, when I realized that the streets are real: Really deadly, really unmerciful, and really unforgiving at times of those who pity.
After reconstructive surgery, therapy, and a lengthy period of idle stir-craziness, my brother returned to full duty. The dog unfortunately did not, but he lived out a happy, peaceful retired life in the care of the man whose life he saved that wicked night. My brother gained a war story, my Dad gained a few thousand more grey hairs, and I gained more pride in an older sibling than a kid should ever be allowed. I also gained the desire to pin my own badge on years later.
I've laid both Dad and my brother to rest now, and I carry on out here. My days are punctuated by warm memories of both, and whenever I feel like my badge is getting too heavy to wear, I remember that I have other brothers (and sisters), out here. I remember that people aren't all pipe-wielding thugs, but there are certainly a few of those. It strikes me that although I may never quite wear the badge as straight or as high on my chest as my two heroes did in my perfect memories, I still wear one the best way I know how. When things fall in place, when the bad guys are caught, and when I put another shift behind me, I close another chapter thinking of them. I remain daily blessed by the fact that I had two of the best life-teachers of all. They will always ride with me everywhere I go and on every call I take. Till we meet again; alas, my brother.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
12-10-07, 07:05 PM #2Corporal
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Truly awesome... thanks for sharing...
12-10-07, 07:05 PM #3Rookie
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Thank you for sharing CB. That was a great read.
12-10-07, 07:06 PM #4
Fantastic post bro!
Too often people tend to think "this is just a job". While I don't advocate people "living cop" 24/7 you definitely need to make this job priority #1 when you're "on the clock."
I too have TONS of memories of my Dad's career while I was a kid, and am fortunate enough to get to make some with him while we serve together on the same department. My wife doesn't understand it and thinks we only talk work when we're around each other because that's all we have. In fact we have tons more than that, but it's usually work stuff that's the most interesting conversation."Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228
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The opinions given in my posts & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Pudge" on Officerresource.com
12-10-07, 07:13 PM #5
One for your father
One for your brother
And one for you.
Thank you, one and all.
12-10-07, 07:26 PM #6
That's such an eloquent, beautiful post, countybear - thank you for sharing your father and brother with us.
12-10-07, 07:28 PM #7
wow! Thanks for sharing CB
12-10-07, 07:35 PM #8
Great post CB, thank you for the reminder. My dad was my hero also, he too wore the badge. I pray all the time that he looks down and is proud of the job I do. I joke around in here, but at the end of the day it is his approval I strive for.
My dad, I miss him every day.
Originally Posted by Wolven
Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.
I am a female!!!!! LMAO
Be who you are and say what you feel.....
Because those that matter...don't mind...
And those that mind...don't matter
12-10-07, 07:35 PM #9
CB, I pray that St Michael remembers those sacrifices made by your dad and brother and that he blesses and watches over you in your service. Thank you for sharing an intimate part of your life's memory with us. (H)Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]
12-10-07, 07:35 PM #10Rookie
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AmenStay safe, let's all go home.
12-10-07, 09:42 PM #11
Wow....*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
Any statements or opinions given in my postings or profile do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employer or anyone else other than me. They are my personal opinions or statements only, thereby releasing my employer , any other entity, or any other person of any liability or involvement in anything posted under the username "Cidp24" on O/R.
12-10-07, 10:27 PM #12
i needed to read something good
this was so very good
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
12-10-07, 11:06 PM #13Temporarily Civilianized
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I am speechless......... CB has away with the keyboard that rivals shakespears pen anydayThere is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.” -- Ernest Hemingway
12-10-07, 11:09 PM #14
amazing CB, as usual. Have you ever thought of penning some stories for print?500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.
12-10-07, 11:27 PM #15Rookie
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Great post CB. I am the only one in my family that is an LEO, but like you said I have many brothers and sisters. I had two young troopers killed while I was their captain. It hurt as bad as if it were my own sons. I visit their families and their graves often.
12-11-07, 02:07 AM #16
Excellent."The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly."
"The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer. "
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”
12-11-07, 02:21 AM #17
As much as I hate to sully this thread with a feeble attempt at a compliment, you really should submit that to some kind of LEO magazine.
Might as well get paid to ramble on. Great read.
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to countybear again."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
12-11-07, 02:49 AM #18
12-11-07, 03:00 AM #19
CB, as i already have stated numerous times, i think you are an inspiration here at LEF.
I really enjoy reading your posts, no matter what the post is about.
I can honestly say, that when i read a post of yours, i feel educated. I wish i had a fraction of the talent that you have on this Keyboard.
That was a awesome post about your father, and brother. It takes a special person to take them memories, and put them together as you just did.
Again, its a pleasure working with you here on LEF. I wish i had the opportunity to experience it at a Department. You can take my back any day of the week brother! God Bless you!YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!
As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked,” Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!
12-11-07, 03:02 AM #20
Beautiful, your words formed the pictures.Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous
Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.
The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.
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