Have you ever wondered what it is really like being married to a cop? Here’s just a glimpse of what many law enforcement spouses and loved ones experience.
“You did what?”
“Yes, honey, I went in—gun drawn!” he repeated and then smiled proudly before giving me a kiss and his “made it home” hug.
I could tell he was still in his hyper-vigilant state of mind.
And I couldn’t help but notice that his plain-clothes uniform this time was adorned with his bulletproof vest and black windbreaker with “Arlington Police” printed on it.
He relayed how S.W.A.T. knocked open the door (tactical style, of course) and secured the apartment, but he was the one who apprehended the murder suspect.
As I listened, my heart rate rose. I rubbed my sweaty palms against each other. My legs bounced up and down. My breathing became deeper with each new development.
Stay calm, I thought. He’s fine and sitting right here.
I wondered how often we’d have to balance TMI (too much information) and NEI (not enough information) during his new assignment as a homicide detective. Equally important, I wondered how many times I’d have to battle “the villain” (worry and fear).
Breathtaking experiences like this one eventually led me to write His Badge, My Story.
If only one law enforcement officer’s spouse or loved one could be helped by my insights, it would be worth it.
The book covers topics such as the unique communication complexities LE couples face, how to balance the law enforcement career and schedules with family life, necessary sacrifices, and raising children in a LEO home.
Most importantly, it offers hope, coping skills, creative suggestions, solutions, and resources for dealing with the challenges officers’ spouses and loved ones often face because of the badge.
Based on my almost forty years of experience, I share how I’ve battled with and overcome “the villain”—that worry and fear we face as we watch our officer walk out the door to face the real-life villains.
I also share about the “gremlins” of law enforcement, those pitfalls that are difficult to recognize and even harder to face. They can take hold of and destroy the passion and spirit of an officer.
Each chapter begins with a BOLO—Be on the Lookout—as a sneak peek of the topic. Personal stories and interviews offer insights from my perspective. Many stories are ones my husband and I faced during his twenty-six years with the Arlington (Texas) Police Department.
At the end of each chapter, “Debriefing” summarizes the topic and provides resolutions to stories, hopeful and helpful tips, and suggested resources.
The “Bullet Points” section gives “ammunition” to keep the faith, strength, and understanding necessary to maintain healthy relationships.
Although His Badge, My Story is written for spouses and loved ones of law enforcement officers, others will enjoy the real police stories and gain a better understanding and appreciation for the officers who protect and serve their community and the spouses and loved ones who support them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vicki Gustafson is married to Jay Gustafson, retired sergeant of the Arlington Texas Police Department and he continues to serve in law enforcement. This book is her first.
At the age of 21, Vicki married the love of her life, Jay Gustafson. Two years later, Jay answered the call to begin his lifelong career in law enforcement.
Vicki has almost four decades of experience as a Law Enforcement Officer’s wife, assisting women who are in a relationship with law enforcement officers.
Vicki is a business owner, leader, and a certified professional and Christian life coach. Vicki and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. They live in Texas.