Friday, May 12, 2006
The Academy Experience (Part I)
I have hung up my cammies for the last time. Unless our President decides otherwise, I will more than likely never again wear the uniform of our nation's military. Let me be quick to say that I am confident in my decision. Let me be even quicker to state that I am even more confident in the troopers who now carry the torch and fight on our behalf.
I have moved on from the defense of our nation, to the defense of my community and the community of thousands of others. I have been hired by the Police Department in the city of Suffolk, Virginia and will soon be entrusted to protect and defend her citizenry. I am beginning week nine of the sixteen week long academy at the Hampton Roads Regional Criminal Justice Training Center. Upon completion of the Academy, I will have nearly seventeen more weeks of on-the-job training before I am turned loose to patrol the streets solo.
I am excited beyond words, yet at the same time I am as apprehensive as I have ever been. For the past ten weeks of the Academy I have been reminded that I have been chosen by a profession that may at any time require my life in the line of service. And while I am willing to sacrifice my life for those whom I am sworn to protect, I realize that some day, someplace, someone may take me from my wife and daughters. They say we public servants are an interesting breed...those of us who run in while others are running out. But that's just who we are and who I am. I do this for myself, but let there be no question, I do this for my wife and our children as well. I fight bad people who would do them harm; who would do you and yours harm. Understanding this, that there are many, many bad people who would do me harm, I see my training and my experiences in the Academy as the foundation on which my career will be built.
We are an interesting breed indeed and one which the civility of our communities depends. I am writing a new chapter in the book of my life, and I look forward to sharing my experiences.