Encouragers and I had the honor of attending the Orange County Police K-9 Association’s presentation Saturday October 3, along side Homeland Heroes volunteer, Cindy Aykinne. There were hundred’s of people from the community who came out to support the Orange County law enforcement officers who were showing off their dogs. It’s a yearly event and one I’m sure I will attend again.
As Cindy and I were getting to know each other, it was a blessing to share our common thoughts and ideas concerning the partnership between Homeland Heroes and Encouragers. Several law enforcement people came up and were very supportive of our collaboration. One female who identified herself as a retired Anaheim police officer shared her story of being attacked by a felon in a wheelchair who had come to court. She let her guard down for a moment, and was attacked, leaving her traumatized emotionally, and physically with several vertebrae cutting into her nervous system. It was a heart wrenching story, but unfortunately, a common story all the same.
A moment after this brave woman left, another woman came up and said, “Thank you for your service” to me, when she learned that I also had retired behind an on the job injury. I told her, “No one ever thanks the cops” and she offered me a hug. I became unusually emotional having just heard the other wounded cops’ story and ran around the table to hug this angel who had touched my heart.
Geoff Beckwith, founder of Homeland Heroes approached me several months ago and shared his vision to help wounded “Homeland Heroes” as all the media attention was being driven to our military, but nothing was being provided to the hundreds of wounded cops, firefighters, and first responders wounded or killed every day. Homeland Heroes provides the financial support through donations to their non-profit to help wounded first responders and their families when their income decreases by 1/2, their lives get turned upside down, and their families fall apart. Geoff also is a wounded officer who suffered all the negative consequences of an on the job injury and learned too late that where worker’s comp ends, real life difficulties begin. Because of our shared experiences, it was a no-brainer that Encouragers would partner with them to provide emotional, educational, and spiritual support as well.
Please find it in your heart to donate to this worthy cause, pray for our success, and when you see an officer in uniform, please say, “Thank you”…you could be the Angel who touches their heart as well.