Note: At the request of the family, we’ve withheld the identity and backstory of this fallen warrior. And believe us – he was a warrior and a hero. We’ve decided to still publish the story because we felt it was important to show that even with his passing, this man managed to protect America. But this time, instead of protecting the physical security of our great country, he was arguably protecting the very soul of it.
We hope you’ll help us pay tribute to his final service to each of us by helping spread this message. May God bless this man and bring peace to his loved ones.
It was a painful and perhaps ironic conclusion to our trip to Missouri.
We had just spent a couple of days with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) in Missouri, talking about how our partnership between Law Enforcement Today and their organization could continue to help rebuild the shattered lives of families who had lost their officers in the line of duty.
Shortly after boarding, the Captain on the Southwest plane addressed those of us who were seated on the plane, waiting to fly to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have the distinct honor of returning a fallen service member to his family and his home on this flight today,” he said. He’s escorted by his brother and another member of the service.”
He spoke for a few more moments, then the flight attendant spoke.
“When we land, we’d be greatly appreciative if you could all stay completely seated until these two men get off and escort their fallen brother from the plane back to his family,” she said. “The sacrifices that so many make can be seen right here in this very moment. I ask you all to honor them.”
Silence. Not a word was spoken. The only sounds were a few sobs and sniffles throughout the plane. That silence remained until long after we took off.
Two hours and twenty five minutes passed. During that flight, many people, myself included, prayed. We prayed for the fallen. For the family. For those who have paid the ultimate price… for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Ten minutes before landing, the flight attendant spoke again, giving us a reminder.
We landed next to a seemingly endless line of firetrucks and police cars. Men and women in uniform, standing at attention.
Not a single person uttered a sound.
You could hear a pin drop when the family got off the plane to escort the casket of this fallen warrior. Then…just before they got off the plane… came a thunderous round of applause.
In that clapping… tears. Pride. Joy. Pain. Love.
It was a shared moment on that plane … in honor of everyone who has ever served the country. For those we lost. For those we love. For those who defend. For those who sacrifice.
The clapping grew louder and louder. It was a release valve. It was the hurt and the pain. It was a cry from a nation that’s lost so many in so many ways.
In it, was a desperation for the country we lost. The unity we’ve lost. The moments of a nation together we’ve lost by becoming a nation divided.
In that clapping, we were a people together again like we were on September 12, 2001. We were one people filled with love and togetherness. In that brief moment on the plane, there were no Democrats or Republicans… there was no black or white or straight or gay or Christian or Jew or Muslim or atheist.
There were only Americans. Paying tribute. Honoring. Respecting.
When we got off the plane, the windows were lined with people paying their respects for a man we will never know… but a man who has our love and eternal gratitude.
That man died a hero. For with that landing, for just a few minutes, he did the impossible. He brought us all together.
When a person mourns, we do so because we’re experiencing loss. But also because, in many cases, we’re experiencing anger. Anger that something has been taken from us unfairly.
Our family at Law Enforcement Today believes that we have a nation in mourning in so many different ways. We’ve lost brothers and sisters in law enforcement, fire rescue and the military. We’ve had countless warriors win on the battlefield… only to lose the battle with demons in their own living room and end up taking their own lives.
We have families that have been divided by politics. We have wounded officers and veterans who feel as if they’ve been forgotten by society. Who believe that their lives don’t matter. That their stories don’t matter.
That’s exactly why we created LET Unity. The entire purpose of the platform is to tell the untold stories of those who feel abandoned by society. Of patriots. Of unity. Our goal is to bridge the gap between civilian and civil servant.
One of the reasons people feel like their stories don’t matter is because of what social media platforms have done. For the past few years, they’ve started scaling back the reach of content that it didn’t believe people should see.
Not that there was anything offensive about it. We’re talking about pro-police videos, stories about patriotic Americans and more.
And from our perspective, that created a huge problem. We have some of the greatest warriors in the world. Yet their voices and their stories were being buried.
The mainstream media, on the rare occasion that it would tell some of these stories, would give you only a piece of them. They’d cram as much as they could into a 90 second segment, slap their bias on it and that was it.
We needed to fix it. And so we are – with LET Unity, with the proceeds going directly back into telling these stories.
Many have dubbed it the “Netflix of the law enforcement community”. But the truth is, it’s so much more.
The first officer in the door at the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Emergency responders from the Parkland shooting.
The bomb squad that responded to the Aurora movie theater massacre.
Survivors of the Dallas five killings.
The first Marine Guard hostage in the Iran crisis.
The CIA agent who started a counter human trafficking organization.
World War II veterans.
And so, so much more.
The membership is less than the cost of two coffees a month, and those who sign up for an annual membership will get some surprise bonuses in the mail. We decided to charge a nominal fee so we could take all of the proceeds and reinvest them into capturing more of these stories.
On top of that, we’re opening up the platform to some well-known podcasters who are going to be joining the team with some incredible content soon.
We have a problem in society. Censorship has created an existential threat to democracy. But even worse is the risk we run that some of these incredible stories of patriotism, hope, faith and our Sheepdogs would be lost.
You’ll find a series of content with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) to share the stories of survivors along with a regular law enforcement focused newscast that addresses some of the most important topics in the country… and helps bridge the gap between those who serve and those whom they serve.
On top of that, we’ll soon be rolling out a series of private discounts and special promotions to members only as a “thank you” for being a part of the family.
The beta platform is live and the apps for Apple, Android, Apple TV and Roku will be launching soon.
We hope you’ll join us in this journey, knowing that your membership is going to give a voice to those who have been silenced for so long.