November 7, 2018, 12 victims were murdered in a recent shooting spree in California's southland. Three men exemplified the meaning of courage when they chose to enter the battle field.
Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran, was one of those officers who respond to the scene. Sergeant Helus was the first to enter the building and was shot multiple times before being pulled back out of the building by two other unidentified California Highway Patrol officers. Learn more here: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/sergeant-who-responded-to-california-shooting-remembered-as-a-hero/. The names of those officers has not been released, but I would consider them heroes as well. Everyone who responded to that horrific scene and everyone who took action to save lives by throwing chairs through windows, who crawled, ran, or otherwise lived through that experience is a hero to me. Everyone who lost their life, everyone involved, both victim and survivor is a hero in my eyes. The battle field is in our backyard, and on this day, war came home. As a retired police officer myself, I recall going to many funerals for courageous men and women in uniform and I honor them in life and in spirt.
The shooter, who also died at the scene, was identified as Ian David Long, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Was mental illness a factor? The Sheriff of Ventura County thinks so and many others are in agreement with him. Even the shooter who created this horrific event deserves at the minimum to be understood. This event does no honor to his legacy as a war veteran, beloved son, and child of God. I have compassion for the shooter because I work with wounded veterans who are suffering the effects of war. I do not excuse his actions and do not honor him in the light of his choices, but I do not place all the blame on him. I believe as a country we are not serving our veterans well. Too many take their lives every day (22) and so many more go untreated because of financial resource limitations. Many are untreated and living on the streets, while others silently suffer as they try to "fake it" in attempts to "make it." This past year, Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers, Inc. gave away over $90,000 in free or reduced services to our veterans and low income families.
As we go about this Veteran's Day, let us remember those who have fallen in battle, at home and abroad. Please help us help others with your generous year end gift today. Click here or go to our Donations page.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 8 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.