Yesterday my husband got an award and was honored at a ceremony recognizing Police Memorial Week. I took off and took my girls so they could see their daddy get this award. It was an eye opening event for me. Police Memorial Week honors police officers that have been killed in the line of duty. Three officers in his department have been killed since it has been around, and every year those families are present and honored as well. Dave got a lifesaver award, for helping save some one's life in a car accident.
You know, I am so guilty of taking every day for granted. I find myself angry a lot about his job, especially now that he is back on night shift, and it's all for selfish reasons. To be honest it's hard having a husband that is a police officer. A statistic stated during the ceremony was that in every 53 seconds, a police officer is killed in the line of duty. Every day that my husband goes in to work it's never promised that he's going to come home. I know the same can be said for everyone who goes to work, or heck, just leaves to run an errand, but because of the very line of work he is in, his chances are that much greater. When I was in middle school, and officer in our city was killed in the line of duty. My parents and I stood on the side of the road with hundreds of people paying our respects as the funeral procession made their way down the main road. I hope to God that I am never inside one of those cars for my husband or his friends.
My husband doesn't have a job in which he just has to work 5 days a week for 8 hours a day. Nine times out of ten, he has to stay past the time he is supposed to go off duty. It doesn't matter if it's a holiday, or a celebration is planned. He only has one weekend off a month, and his days off during the week, aren't exactly days off. Most of the time he has to be in court, or he has a training. Grant it, he does get paid for that time, but it eats into his free time, and is taxed to death if it's over time. Now that he's on night shift, if he has court at 2pm, it doesn't matter if that's when he needs to be asleep, he still has to be there. His lunch breaks can be ended at any minute. I have to say, that Dave is an excellent father, and wants to be there for every activity that the kids have. He sacrifices sleep to stay up and go to a tball game, or whatnot, and just deals with being tired so he doesn't miss something. If a hurricane, snowstorm, or some other bad storm comes and he happens to be off, he can't just stay home and take care of us, he will get called in. Don't get me wrong, he went into this profession understanding that. He very rarely complains, if anything he just says he's tired.
He's not exactly rolling in the money either. Ever look up what a police officer makes? Most work extra duty, or find side jobs to try to make ends meet. My husband has a college education from a 4 year year school. We also don't get a housing allowance like the military does, I can't do my grocery shopping on base, and there are not police officer discounts when we go shopping. To be honest, I think it's been about 4 years since he has gotten a raise because of salary freezes in the city in which he works. Health insurance premiums continue to rise, gas prices go up, heck, everything goes up. I am not attempting to get sympathy, or try to say people in the military have it easier. But they deserve the same respect. People like to complain about the police, because I guess they can be an easy target. No one likes to say that they deserve getting a speeding ticket, or admitting they they just messed up. But just like people in military, they are sacrificing their lives for everyone else. I myself need to do a better job understanding that, instead of being mad that he's not helping clean the house when he's off. Though I get frustrated having to deal with a lot by myself, I have to remember that he may not come home one day.