I traveled the world as a Marine. I saw things that plucked at my heart strings. I thought how terrible it must be to live and suffer this way. I walked away thanking God this was not in my county.

I saw death, I saw hunger and I saw lawlessness where authority was not respected. In my heart I knew when I went home I would be so very lucky to be in a place where we did not suffer these horrible things.

When my tour in the Marines ended, I knew that I had to do something. I knew that I had to be a part of something bigger than myself.

machine gun

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Abrey D. Liggins)

 

I became a police officer because I wanted to continue to serve my country.

I became a police officer because I want to serve my fellow man. Little did I know that I would face the same things in my homeland as I did in countries far away. This is when I began to wrestle demons in the dark.

I have seen people so poor that they didn’t have any idea where their next meal would come from. Their cupboards were bare and so were their pockets.

I have seen people without hope who had that dead look in their eyes. This is the same look you see in the eyes of refugees fleeing war-torn lands. People who have lost all hope.

These are the demons that I wrestle with in the dark.

I have seen death visited upon the innocent. I have witnessed little ones suffocated by drunk or drugged parents who came home so high they had no idea they had even killed their own children.

There is nothing as sad as peering at the body of a lifeless child. Their only sin was being born to parents who did not care, and should have never had children at all.

These are the demons that I wrestle with in the dark.

Sometimes we see too much… (Wikipedia/Flickr)

 

I have been on the receiving end of a call from a woman who was terrified of her ex-husband. She was certain he would kill her. I sat back, powerless to intervene because it was not within my authority to help her.

I stood shell-shocked as I heard the news of her murder and his suicide in a town just a few miles away.

These are the demons that I wrestle with in the dark.

I have sat alone in my patrol car with a gun in my hand praying for my worries to subside. I have sat in a graveyard with a gun in my hand trying to think of a reason to continue moving forward.

I struggle with demons in the dark. (Adobe Stock)

 

So much misery, so much pain in the place I live, in the place I work and I am powerless to stop it. How much I would have loved to have been there to bring order from chaos. How much I would have loved to bring happiness from sadness… but I am powerless to do so.

These are the demons that I wrestle with in the dark.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I didn’t cross the line.

I took my sadness, my misery, my despair, pushed it aside and continued to live.

I still wrestle with demons in the dark. I always will wrestle with them but I realized I don’t do it alone.

My brothers and sisters they are with me.  They would never leave me alone on a call, they would never let me fight alone and I would never abandon them.

Are you considering suicide because you feel alone? You need to realize that you aren’t alone now. And you never will be.

There are thousands of people just like you and just like me. We all wrestle with demons, at times.

They have been in the same place as you – or, they are or very close to it.

Please don’t give up.

Please don’t quit on yourself.

Please don’t quit on your brothers and sisters.

You may be the person who answers their call when they are in need.

Would you want to fail them? Let us answer your call for help now just as surely you would answer ours later.

At the bottom line, it all comes down to saving just ONE life.

If you need help, call the suicide prevention line at  1-800-273-8255 — Help is available 24 hours everyday. 

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