Friday, September 30, 2016

Real Heros Wear Patches

More patches from around the world donated
to the son of the injured Greentown officer.
Real Heroes Wear Patches Quilt for the officer's son.
My little hometown, Greentown Indiana, is experiencing the sadness and agony of having a young local policeman wounded and his partner killed this summer; both with wives and young children.  Our hometown officer’s eight-year-old son goes to the local school and his teacher was wanting to help with the frightening facts this little boy is experiencing.  She came up with “Real Heroes Wear Patches” and it mushroomed into an entire town honoring all men and women who wear a uniform in the service of their communities and country.

I’m partial to those who serve in law enforcement because I know them as more than a uniform but as good people, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, family and friends.  My first cousin as a Deputy Sheriff, a son-in-law as a policeman in Galesburg, a policeman in Geneseo and the Henry County Sheriff who both served with me on the Freedom House Board of Directors and a good friend’s daughter-in-law that’s a deputy.  When I hear negative talk about our military, police, firemen/women and EMTs, it’s personal. 

As with any other job, if someone doesn’t perform it well, they need to be coached or disciplined or released to find other work they’re more suited.  But the large majority are doing a job you and I don’t want to do.  They are doing that job because they love it.  They are doing it without much thanks or affirmation.  They aren’t getting rich.  They are doing it extremely well in a difficult and scary time.  They are doing in spite of the very real dangers.  They are taking care of your family in hopes they return to their family.  Not many of us have that job worry and not many of us understand what they and their family goes through.

Anyone can complain – it only takes a moment during casual conversation at the local coffee shop or among friends and family.  That negative moment has a much longer lasting effect on the spirit of the community.  If we run down the community members serving us, are we helping to destroy the fabric of that community?  If we actually have a suggestion or complaint, isn’t it wiser and more helpful to go to the leader or commander of that department or organization and talk it out?  You see – negative gossip condemns an entire organization and gets very little done to help.  

As we see so much unrest in our nation – in the world – can a little community step out to thank and honor our heroes who wear patches?  I know one that did it in a huge way.  I have to think my adopted little community has the same kind of spirit of thanksgiving.  It doesn’t take a death or serious injury to get behind our local heroes.  It does take a community willing to make it a priority even when things are going great.

Some of our citizens have already taken that public step to thank and honor:  Back Roads Music Festival – American Legion Post 45 – Galva City Council – Bishop Hill Filling Station – Galva High School – Volunteers at the Galva and Bishop Hill Fire Department Fund Raisers – Galva Pharmacy – John H. Best Manufacturing.  I’m sure you know individuals and organizations that could be added to this list. 

Our community (and I include Bishop Hill) has proved over and over they are front runners of kindness and thanksgiving.  Shall we bring this spirit of thankfulness into an organized effort and one of personal commitment?  Are you the one person to take the lead in your organization?  Are you the individual to write a note, send a message/text or stop and shake a hand?  I think you are!

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