Memorial Day Reflection

May 25th, 2015: 0030 hours

American Flag

May 23rd, 2015: 0935 hours

I just want to stop. The second mile of this hell is the hardest single mile I’ve ever run. My lungs struggling, my legs are burning, and my brain is screaming at me to quit. But I can’t. I absolutely cannot quit. Because he didn’t. Because they didn’t. Because I won’t quit when it’s my time.

Saturday May 23rd, 2015 — 0900 hours:

My wife, a fellow police officer, and I are in my garage. I’ve started the music and my wife prepares the clock. We are about to begin “Murph.” It is the quintessential Memorial Day workout: one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body squats, one mile run. It is a mammoth of a workout. As prescribed it is done with a 20lb weighted vest. I’ve never met anyone in person who has done it prescribed. I’ve met few who can actually do all the movements without scaling to some degree. It’s fucking hard. But it’s important.

“Murph” was Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy of the United States Navy. Murphy was only the third serviceman to receive the Medal of Honor since President Bush sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on June 28th, 2005. On that fateful day, Murphy led a four-man SEAL team into the Hindu-Kush Mountains in Afghanistan, tasked with capturing or killing a high-value Taliban target. Three of the four team members, including Murphy, were killed after being ambushed by overwhelming Taliban forces. The team killed an estimated 30-40 enemy fighters and inflicted an estimated 80 casualties. Murphy, despite severely critical and eventually fatal injuries, fought to high ground to call for help from the only spot his radio could get out (Navy Seals). He fought until his last breath and died with his selector switch on fire and surrounded by a pile of brass. He was a warrior. He was the warrior. He was what all of us warriors should strive to be.

I started as a police officer in August of 2012. I was trained how to fight. I was shown how to train. I experienced the camaraderie and true brotherhood (I’m not forgetting my sisters) of the Thin Blue Line. But every time I read a story about an officer dying or being killed, my heart breaks. Unlike the general population, I know that each and every one of us who wears a badge has a heart, a mind, and a family. My heart bleeds blue for the survivors. The hurt I felt while struggling through “Murph” doesn’t even touch the pain I feel at a police officer’s funeral. Because of that I promise something to every warrior out there:

I will not quit. When God decides it’s my time, fine, but I’m not making it easy on him. Everyone who stands on the line with me will get the best warrior I can be. And I will fight until my last breath. For my family, for you, for your family, and for everyone on the Officer Down Memorial Page, I will fight. I will train to be the baddest I can be. I will not let my training or physical fitness be a liability. My spirit will not wane. I love every one of my brothers and sisters, and I will fight beside them until the end. The Good Lord will drag me kicking and screaming from this world.

Take a moment this holiday and every Memorial Day that follows and consider what some have given. What we may be asked to give. I will gladly give all for all of you.

Quote of the Day:

“All gave some; some gave all.” – Howard William Osterkamp


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