As like many of us, I knew numerous people that live in or were visiting Vegas this weekend. Sometimes writing helps me to process the emotions I have swimming in my head so I thought I would take a moment to share my experiences as a police officer’s wife.
I woke up around 1:30 last night and happened to see a text from my husband about the situation that was evolving in Vegas – he was on duty last night here in Arizona. I started to panic and tried to remember which friends and family members were there this weekend.
Think. Think. Think. Who is there right now? Who was on the strip? Who lives in Vegas? What is happening? Are there multiple shooters? Is this a terrorist attack? Will my husband be mobilized? What about my friends at LVPD?
This moment, this horrible attack, this massacre is something our men and women in blue train for. This is something we pray will never ever happen but something our officers and police spouses have to be ready for. Confusion, chaos, fear, panic, tragedy – who is the steady in these situations? Who are the protectors? Who do we turn to? Our police.
I hope you have never been in a situation where you have to fight for your life. Every instinct in your body tells you to run away from danger, get as far away from it as you can. Run. Hide. Fight if you must – but never run towards danger. Your body’s core desire is to survive. Our officer’s drive that very instinct out of mind – They go towards the gun fire, towards the burning building, towards the screaming.
Behind every trained and brave police officer is their family and friends. We worry, we cry, we stress, and we curse for our first responders. My friends watched their husbands leave their house not knowing what they would be walking into. My friends had their husbands working the strip, not knowing if they were okay. Sometimes it seems like the world hates our husbands, but yet we watch them strap on their vests anyways.
This is more than a job. Many police departments across the country have shared stories of their off-duty officers that were at this music festival working next to the Las Vegas officers throughout the night – stories of these off-duty officers shielding civilians with their own bodies. The Las Vegas Police Department fought with incredible bravery. You don’t die for a job, you don’t get shot at for a job. You don’t suit up in the middle of the night for a job. You don’t work an 18 hour shift without food and water and bathroom breaks for the paycheck. You don’t leave your family without a guardian for a job. These men and women suit up for you, for our communities. They are selfless and driven. They protect you. They serve you. They will die for you if they have to. Even if you hate them – even if you scream at them – even if you protest them… They will be there. They will run towards the gun fire, towards the danger.
I cannot express how proud I am of our blue family. I want to take this moment to honor all the first responders that had an incredibly stressful night. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices to our great country. Tonight, we honor the brave. My heart is torn for everyone affected by this horrific tragedy and my prayers are with you all.
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35