Does Your Husband Wear a Gun on His Side and Badge on His Heart?
By JANELLE NEWTON, who has been married to her husband Paul since 1997, and they have four sons. Paul is a Police Sergeant.
• Do you watch your husband put on body armor every day?
• Has your husband been sprayed by a skunk while chasing criminals in the woods?
• Does your husband get called out to his job in the middle of the night, during church, or during your child’s sporting event because there has just been a fatal accident or a murder and his skills and training are needed at the scene?
• Has your husband ever talked someone down from a suicide attempt?
• Is your husband doing the job that he wanted to do when he was a little boy?
• Did your husband’s job training include getting sprayed in the face with pepper spray?
• Does your husband turn down eating at certain places because of fear an employee may spit in his food?
• Has your husband ever helped to lift a wrecked car off of the top of an injured person?
• Have you ever had to say to your kids who are helping with the laundry, “Don’t put Daddy’s bullet-proof vest in the dryer!”
• Does your husband get calls from “friends” who want their speeding ticket taken care of, yet those same “friends” never call for any other reason?
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• Has your husband ever called you from work to see if your kids had any clothes they could spare for a neglected child he had dealt with that day who didn’t have proper clothing?
• Has your husband had to work nights, weekends, and holidays, for years?
• Has your husband had to tell a mom and dad that their child was just killed in a wreck?
• Has your husband come home from work with bloody scratches on his face?
• Has your husband ever had a neighbor file a complaint about his patrol vehicle being parked in front of your house?
• Do you wake up during the night and find your husband is gone, because while you were sleeping soundly, he was called in to work…again?
• Have you ever carried an AR-15 out to the car for your husband, early in the morning, while wearing your jammies, because his hands were full?
• Has your husband ever come home from work and wept in your arms because a full-term unborn infant was killed with its mother in a crash?
• Does your husband sit in the back at church because he feels a duty to protect every person in the sanctuary?
• Has your husband ever missed your child’s birthday party…because he was lying under a wrecked car with a dying person holding their hand and talking to them and trying to keep them alive until medical help arrived?
• Does your husband wear black undershirts, not white, because the white contrasting the fabric of the uniform at the base of the neck is a “target” for a bad guy with a gun?
• Do neighbors come to your door while your husband is “off-duty” wanting your husband’s help or advice with their issues?
• Has a crazy person who just got out of jail ever come to your front door in the middle of the night looking for your husband?
• Have you ever had people call you to ask if your husband was okay because they heard on the news there were officers shot at today?
• Has your husband been spit on at work?
• Does your husband have to work different shifts, and lots of hours, and you are used to pretty much running things at home on your own from morning till night?
• Have you ever been to a marriage counselor and asked in desperation why your husband had to leave you alone with the children at the piano recital because he felt a duty to protect the entire crowd from the stray pit bull?
• Do you hear your husband wake up with a gasp in the night and wonder if he had another nightmare about being shot and killed while at work?
• Does your husband have the self-control to refrain from taking justice in his own hands with a man who has just beaten an infant so badly it soon died?
• Would your husband have the bravery to run into danger to save people he doesn’t even know?
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• Do you sometimes just know that your husband is not really telling you what is on his mind and what his day at work was really like…and you are grateful…because you know he is shielding you from the ugliness of what he has had to face.
• Have you laughed as your husband scolded your children for their misbehavior at home and referred to it as “a disturbance at this address?”
• Has your husband answered the phone and listened to you ramble briefly about the events of your day and then gently interrupted to let you know that he has to go because he is working at the scene of a suicide?
• Do you say silent prayers for your husband’s safety every time you hear a siren?
• Is your husband a bit paranoid and sometimes overprotective, only because he is so very keenly aware of the dangers that are around us at all times, which most “normal” people are completely oblivious to?
• Is your husband disrespected, insulted, and hated by many?
• Is your husband deeply loved, respected, and honored by you?
• Does your husband make his modest living serving and protecting his community?
• Is your husband your hero?
You see, for me, the answer to every one of these questions, the funny and the serious, is “Yes.” I have a lot of reasons for the respect that I give to my husband and his fellow Law Enforcement Officers.
You may not be able to answer yes to most of these questions, but I hope you will think of some of them next time you see an officer…and maybe smile or shake his hand or even say “thank you”. He doesn’t expect anything from you. He is not out to get you. He is just doing his job.
JANELLE NEWTON has been married to her husband Paul since 1997, and they have four sons. Paul is a Sergeant with the Wichita Falls Police Department where he has worked since 2002. Janelle is the author of the book Bulletproof Home: A Mom’s Guide to Building an Indestructible House, and she speaks regularly at events for Homeschooling Moms. Janelle and Paul are the founders of BridgetotheBadge.org, a ministry to families of First Responders. She and Paul have been guest speakers at various churches and events on the topics of marriage and law enforcement life. Janelle and her family reside in Wichita Falls, Texas.