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PTSD: If Only The Public Stopped to Consider

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My husband medically retired from career in LE that led to complex multi-trauma PTSD but he still wouldn't take it back even if he could because 99% of the force have such a loving and servant heart deep down. Yes, there is the outer shell everyone complains about but if you take time to seriously consider their duties day in and out for years (usually MUCH longer then any military personnel's combat career) you'll understand and be more forgiving. Their whole job centers around the negative of our world but that's not to say there isn't any reward! *graphic content, not for the faint of heart, not for little ones and it might be a PTSD trigger but someone needs to put into words what they experience daily for the public to hopefully begin appreciating them. 

I'd like everyone to consider how they'd respond when they're exposed to a call of a possible suicidal teen. You walk in, to still see the gun smoke in the air, having been only seconds too late. He has blown off the back of his head (and saying it that way is the pretty description) and it's your job to check his pulse to confirm death despite the obvious then have to go tell his parents. How about when you have to put on a bullet proof vest and have a gun at your hip to go to work and know, you'll probably pull that gun an average of once a week when situations get hairy and you might have to make a life or death situation, in a fraction of a second, to protect a citizen or yourself against someone with bad intent. 

Let's consider the fact they go into places and situations that everyone else is running from. How do you think your heart would feel pulling a child out of an abusive inhabitable home or even worse, dead off a street from a car accident. How about searching for a young adult that's been reported as missing only to feel a bump in the dark, turn your flashlight and discover the gruesome scene they've hung themselves? Your job is to deal with that, go tell her sister then 'clock out' and have dinner with the family, forget about a peaceful nights sleep that night as well. How about trying to believe in humanity when you're trained to believe that you have to be hyperventilate at ALL times because people are out to kill or harm you and others. 

There is no such thing as a LEO taking his precious family to the local summer fair for rides and funnel cakes. He is too busy making sure his family isn't in harms way because he arrested so and so's brother for drugs and domestic violence and his brother wants vengeance against you. Try having a secret 'escape word or phrase' for every time you all go out in public with your family.* 

These are just a few examples they experience daily BUT do it proudly to protect and serve YOU. I KNOW, when they get a call, are driving lights and sirens, they are not wondering if the person in need is Hispanic, Black or Caucasian. No, they know that person needs them, they're probably a mother, father, brother or sister. All of this negative attention and pure hate for LEOs is throwing fuel on the fire of PTSD for my husband and all officers. Respectfully, it's compared to a Vietnam Vet happily signing up to serve the country he's so proud of, to serve his fellow Americans at any cost, then coming back only to be hated, called 'baby killers.' LE serve, sacrifice and protect domestically just as much as our heros do in the military but they do not get the respect, appreciation and love they are rightfully due. If the public only stopped to consider...

Jessica, LEOW

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