An Effective Oath
Our men and women in blue are noticed for their action on the beat. Each of them bear a shiny badge upon their chest, acknowledging their call to serve and protect. Their uniform says it all, and oddly they have become all officer and dehumanized. While their actions are noticed, who they are as human beings is forgotten.
The public sees them as police, a badge number, and failing to see beyond the badge. As the wife of an officer, I see beyond it all. The city in which our law enforcement serve and protect may get the most of our officers, but they will never grasp the meaning of what it signifies to stand beside them.
I know this, you know this, but many of us may never comprehend the full capacity of what this call to duty means. The view from my officer’s side will look different from the view of it on my side. Yes, we walk the thin blue line together, but we each bring in our own sacrifices and insights. God has given us two different views because we are two different souls in this marriage/relationship.
Far too often we have been told their call to duty is harder, traumatizing, and one we will never fully comprehend unless that badge is upon our chest. I have served, yes served, as a wife on duty for fifteen years and counting. It has never been his job, it has been our call. While my officer patrols the beat, I have a life of my own just like every other spouse. My life at times can be filled with its own stressors, concerns, and perhaps struggles. Naturally, like many other wives on duty, we disregard this in our minds because we know full well that our life stress will never measure up to the one of our spouse. However, let’s take a closer look.
With a cause there is always an effect. As the spouse of a law enforcement officer, I see the effects. When the badge comes off and Velcro rips off, the officer within still stands. Therefore, I still stand, just like all spouses of law enforcement do. Why? Because although different, the core of the call is done together. The weight of service then becomes equal weight. The call does not just stop with the spouse, but their children, ultimately their household.
Let’s break this down. While he sees blood, I see the trauma in his eyes. While he hears the screams, I see his frustration. When he takes a child away from his mother due to arrest, I awake to the restlessness of his night. When he responds to an assaulted child, I am the arms that hold him as he tries to comprehend it all. When he sits on the recliner completely shut down, I understand it was the day and decompressing is needed. There was never a separation between us in this thin blue line walk.
Our officers witness trauma each and every day. As spouses, we witness the various effects. We see, we feel, we walk through it too. Sometimes we may feel helpless or unable to bring comfort. There are times we drown in questions longing for solutions to the effects of their duty. Quitting is not an option as one would never disregard an oath taken. The day our officers swore in and took the oath to serve, we took it with them. Amid the chaos of the call to duty, we hold a gentle reminder of what is never witnessed, yet unseen. Our walk together in this has made the oath to serve effective.
As a spouse, we can be a witness of God’s peace. In this life, there will be times we fail to ensure our beloved is okay. There will be times we know exactly what to do and times we don’t. We will discover moments when silence is golden, and moments when words are necessary.
Our arms may be needed for embracing and our hands to wipe tears. Oh those countless moments as we cup their broken face in our hands. Perhaps there may be nights we feel alone with our tears and endless thoughts. There will be times where we hold the fort because duty calls yet again. At times they lose their temper and we find ourselves so frustrated to the point of numbness. But, sweet wives on duty, all spouses, now is the time to remember that while its two different views, it’s always been ONE CALL.
You are not behind the badge, you are beside it. You are in this with your officer. There has to be balance in a first responder marriage where there is never an offense, but a willingness to help, understand, and fulfill our role to this call. This is not just for spouses, but for officers too. Our home substation should be a sanctuary of safety both physically and emotionally. At times all this may feel as an affliction, but we soon realize the blessing of it all.
Walking the blue line has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice, and choosing to love in that sacrifice. This call is beyond our understanding, I know it is beyond mine. When there are no other answers to find in books, blogs, articles, or in council, our law enforcement household find our answer in God. I have found that when you ask, God will give you the wisdom you need to continue walking this thin blue line.
Resources may be limited, but God is a limitless source. You are good. You are a gift. You are capable. You are appreciated. You are more than enough. So yes, while the public may fail to see beyond the shine of his badge, it shines because of you and the support you provide. You were never behind the badge, you have and always will be beside, because the sacrifice is equally great in this call. Thank you for your service and dedication spouses, it is needed more than you will ever know.
– Allison Uribe, Wives on Duty Ministries