Line of Duty Death Survivors: What Do They Need to Cope With Their Grief?

by Peggy Sweeney

Let us not forget the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives doing their duty to protect and serve. We remember law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.

Most people half-heartedly acknowledge or completely ignore the news item while searching for more significant information relating to their personal lives; a baseball score, stock market figures, want ads, or horoscopes.

Civilians cannot relate to this type of tragedy nor can they comprehend the depth of grief and gut-wrenching pain that every member of the department is feeling as a result of this tragic death. Their lives will not be changed by this tragedy. Unfortunately, this is not true for the family and co-workers of this fallen hero. Life as they knew it will never be the same again. Continue reading

A Quiet Moment, God Is In Control

by Chaplin Kathy B. Thibodaux

“God is in control.” This is such a simple statement, yet one that exhibits a deepening faith, which requires that I trust in the Lord with all my heart for every situation and circumstance. God has a master plan, a higher goal and a special purpose for my life.

His ways and thoughts are not my ways and thoughts. I may even fail to comprehend the path that I am following; but I must not lean on my own understanding. In all ways, I am to acknowledge Him for He is God, the Creator. He knew me before I was formed inside the very womb of my mother. He knows my thoughts before I ever speak a word. Nothing I do is hidden from His eyes.

God is my King, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is my Rock of Refuge in times of trouble, my Haven of rest, the Balm of Gilead, the Healer of my Hurts, my Place of sanctuary and my Kinsmen- Redeemer. God will make my paths straight with His wisdom. He will show me the course to navigate for my journey. With His strength and mercy, He will guide and direct. Continue reading

Fighting the Devil Within

by Don Prince
Former Fire Chief

Don Prince

None of us ever wants to admit defeat. It is not in our nature.  What makes it even more difficult for people like us is what we do. We are the ones going in, giving aid, support, sacrifices and sometimes even our lives in order to save others. We are supposed to be the invincible ones and for the most part we are. But ultimately, we are all human; we act and react differently to situations both in and out of the “job”.

Pressure, stress and pain are pretty much unavoidable in all forms: both physical and mental or a combination of them. How each one of us deals with these stresses, such as self-medicating and isolating, is what separates us from our families, loved ones and careers. Continue reading

Stigma and the Elephant in the Room, to the Point of No Return and Back

by Rob Leathen

I went public not for any sympathy and not for any pity but because I firmly believe that silence does nothing but strengthen stigma.

Rob Leathen

Early in February 2019, I knew something wasn’t quite right with me. The continual arguments with my wife, the emotional outbursts, unexpected crying and anger. Anger with everybody and everything led me to the conclusion that I needed help. I started weekly therapy for what was likely PTSD

Stigma? “Screw the stigma,!” I thought. I went public with my PTSD battles. If just one person asked me one question about PTSD or one person reflected on the state of their own mental health or one person already suffering no longer felt alone than my going public was worthwhile. Little did I know my PTSD journey would turn in an unexpected direction. Continue reading

EMDR: A Therapy Session to Deal with a Problematic Incident

by Rob Leathen

Editor’s Note: Please read Rob’s article that describes his PTSD and how it brought him to the brink of suicide. Instead, he chose life!

Rob Leathen

My therapy session starts like every previous therapy session, with idle chat with my therapist about how my previous week was. The conversation has nothing to do with any of my previous incidents I have responded to or current things we’re working on. Regardless of the topic of conversation, I immediately feel at ease and comfortable, a feeling that comes from being in this office with my therapist and her welcoming judgement free clinic. It is my safe place. It’s a feeling I look forward to as I travel to my appointment even though I know how my session will end.

We reach that inevitable point in my session where I can no longer consciously ignore why I’m there. In a very comforting tone I hear those dreaded words “let’s revisit that call again”.

Continue reading