As a law enforcement wife, I have often said that I stand behind the Thin Blue Line, I support the men and women who walk that line and have utmost respect for them. Lately, I’ve changed my way of how I think about that. As a wife, I am not behind that line, I AM a part of it, just as my husband and my children are a part of it. That line doesn’t just affect him, but anyone who is related to it.
Last Friday, my husband and I made the journey across the state to see a 22 year old officer laid to rest. He had only graduated CLEET last July. I’ve said it numerous times on Facebook, this boy was a year older than my twins. He was 2 years younger than my oldest son, and I watched his mother have to do what no mother should ever have to. Stand over his coffin. She is not behind that line. She is a part of it. She will always be a part of it. That line has forever changed her life.
The law enforcement wife is a unique creature. She learns to hear what her officer says with her eyes. I can tell what is really going on with mine by simply watching him. When I ask, “How was your day?”, he may answer “Oh, fine.” Sometimes he means that, a lot of times his body language says, “Today was a day I almost didn’t come home, worked something really bad, and because I love you, I’m willing to put on a smile and lie to you so that I can protect you, and myself.” Am I angry, shocked an appalled that he will do that? Simply stated, no, I’m not. There are things that I know that he is not going to and never will talk to me about concerning this job, and I don’t want to know everything. I honestly don’t think that I could be the support he needs if I’m dealing with his demons along with him.
Personally, I am the type of wife that is extremely pro-active in support and I guess you could say participation in my husband’s daily law enforcement life. I want to know the in’s and out’s of his job. I ask questions all the time about different situations, laws, legalities, civil vs. municipal, and so on. We talk in 10 codes, I support his reserve academies by acting has his photographer to capture all of the training and put it into a slideshow for the graduation. I LOVE being around officers and training. Do I want to be a cop? Not at all, but being a part of this line, why not know everything I possibly can about it.
Part of my motivation for this particular writing is because we are preparing for a class we are teaching that focuses on Police Families. We are showing the documentary Code 9: Officer Needs Assistance. In the past couple of weeks, there have been around 10 officer suicides. PTSD is a topic that we both take very seriously, and put out information on facing it when we can. My thoughts will stay primarily dead center on the idea of helping even one LE family and putting the tools they need to stand this line every day of their marriage.
I am a LEOW, I am part of the Thin Blue Line, and this family bleeds blue.