Ah, New Year’s Eve. A time for celebration, for fresh starts, for fun parties, for kisses at midnight, and… well…. if you’re a LEO, shootings, domestics, assaults, and general asshole-ishness that really start your New Year off on a sour note.
As I mentioned, JD had to work New Year’s Eve this year, so I spent the evening curled up with my Double Stuff Oreos. Although low-key and boring by most standards, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to trade with JD.
Besides the fact that they are out in the cold, separated from their loved ones, holidays are some of the worst days for LEOs because those days have a high rate of domestics and various other depression-driven or alcohol-infused incidents.
As the clock ticked down to the New Year, Loralai and I were safe at home in bed, and JD was out in the woods, looking for a man who was threatening to commit suicide. At midnight, he could hear the fireworks and helicopters from the downtown celebration, while shots from automatic weapons rang out in his district. He was alone in the cold darkness- no celebration, no loved ones, no kisses at midnight. For a minute, he said he even had some flashbacks to Afghanistan.
No matter the day, time, or weather, our LEOs are forever out there, literally putting their lives at risk to protect the cities they serve. And the thing is, most people don’t care or give it a second thought. The wonderful thing about our LEOs is that they don’t do it for the thanks; they do it because they are called to a life of service, no matter the sacrifices.
I wish JD wasn’t alone at midnight. I wish he could have been curled up at home with me. I wish we could have shared a kiss at midnight. But after a night like New Year’s Eve, I was thankful that he came home to me in one piece. In this life, that’s all you can really ask for.