Hearing Screams of the Innocent
As I sit here in the cool darkness, I open my soul and let the peace and quiet seep in. I relax, close my eyes, and lean back. Then, because I’ve let my guard down, the monsters and demons creep in.
I hear the screams and cries of the innocent, the howls of other souls slaved to addiction, the pleas of mothers to save their children, even though their children are adults. I see thousands of flashes from my memories; torn and destroyed bodies, blue children that I can’t save because it’s too late, families in distress, my brothers and sisters injured and dead.
It becomes a title wave that threatens to drown me. I open my eyes and realize that I am gripping the arms of my chair in a white knuckled death grip. The memories continue for a few moments before I get them under control.
I sweep them into the little black box on the fringes of my mind and secure the lock on it. Then I stand up and realize I have a light sheen of sweat and I feel uncomfortable.
I walk inside and my wife looks at me for a moment, then says, “Honey, are you ok?” I glance at her and I lie, “I’m fine,” and I walk away before she can look into my eyes and see my burning soul.
PTSD is a byproduct of serving behind a badge. No one is unwounded. Please reach out; you are not alone. Please reach out; you can help because you understand as no one else can.
Kevin Cotroneo has served 36 years in law enforcement, retiring from the California Highway Patrol and Mendocino County Sheriff’s – Coroner’s Office, retiring at the rank of sergeant from both. During that time, he served in such capacities as Highway Interdiction, Officer Involved Shooting Team, Search & Rescue commander, and rangemaster. He has been an instructor for DRE (Drug Recognition Expert), EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Firearms, Officer Survival, and Community Awareness.
Kevin has kept abreast of the current training and trending events in law enforcement, meanwhile adding to his own training, expertise, and experience as a basis to present you the articles he writes. His goal is to expand awareness, improve survival capabilities, and share trending methods with brother and sister officers. There is always something new to learn and insight to be gained, he is constantly in pursuit of that knowledge. He also hosts the Facebook page, Badges.