My time in Viet Nam taught me for the horrors of
killing another person--
45 years later I still ask for forgiveness.
Having said that, when I was a Deputy Sheriff Sergeant conducting my roll
call briefing I occasionally told my squad if you are not prepared and willing
to pull the trigger in defense of another: citizen, co-worker, bad guy, good
guy whatever. If you are not willing, go home. You are a danger to
yourselves and others. To so many of us "Protect and Serve" was more
than just a saying.
My cousin Henry, who I was very close with as kids, recently retired as a peace
officer after a long career. Being an officer was his life goal and you could
see just how proud we was to be on the job. However not everything
went well at the beginning in law enforcement for him. He got off to a
tough start and at that time, he thought it may be over for him.
About 30 years ago, he and his partner were on late night patrol in a
warehouse area of town when they confronted heavily armed burglars.
A firefight broke out and at the end of it all, his partner lost his life and my
cousin had taken out one of the perpetrators. He was supported by his
department but it still took him about 5 years before he could return to
work as a cop.
The incident really shook him up for a long time. We spent a lot of time
doing activities together, and having a good time just like we did when
we were little kids growing up.
And as you say he was worried during those 5 years being out of the
department, about being able to pull the trigger again, if needed. And then
deal with the aftermath of all that should that happen again. He eventually
found that inner strength and made it back to work as an officer.
Anyway, as I mentioned he recently retired after years of service and
received honors, a public mention in his local newspaper for his work with
the community, and recognition by his chief. One thing though, I have
his police S&W Model 19 in my safe with a notch in the grip (I kid you not).
When he went back to work on the streets, he selected a semi-auto...