What is the driver for you? How are you hardwired? How does that belief system get interrupted when you can do everything right . . . but something still goes wrong? We should, and do, train and prepare as much as we can for “left of bang” so that we can recover and live well “right of bang”.
It has taken every bit of personnel will power to not post this message on February 15th. That is the date in 1989 Stephen House, the person who’s memory this company serves, was killed during a warrant service. He is ,and will always be, remembered well by his Team, Family, and Friends
But this year, for this moment, it’s what happens the days that follow, for those of us left behind that we are focused. And somebody is always left behind. We understand loss; we understand missing a piece of your family. There is an added component when that loss is experienced within law enforcement/ SWAT community.
There is the loss for an agency of valued and loved officer. The ramifications of such a loss can be played out relatively 1 of 2 ways:
1) The agency responds by closing ranks, dealing head on with loss, rebuilding and through true resolve come out the other side a new and stronger entity. Through that loss they rally around the family and there is a continuation of support and love that lasts.
2) The fingers begin to point. Policy comes down that deflates morale. Extremes can cause a Team to be disbanded or may disband out of loss of personnel. Family is, not necessarily out of malice, relegated to a quickly diminishing support. That support in a few years relegates them to a few letters on a piece of paper. Those left behind can be racked with personal doubt and if not managed correctly, loss of members from the Team, from the agency, and from life itself is not uncommon or unheard of.
Policy changes and consequences can be found within the 1st scenario but because of the lens looked through the outcome is different. How is your agency, your Team hardwired to address adversity?
To the right of that adversity is a family. Families are a source of strength, purpose, and love. At it’s best – loss of loved ones are felt forever; a piece stolen that cannot, and most times no desire to, be replaced. When we leave an agency ties go grow thin and the ties that bind can dissipate. How much more is that felt by the family after a loss? Time can come to stand still. The best of us can “move on” and unfortunately we leave people behind.
What are you doing now to ensure we finish strong for the family? “We won’t forget, we’ll always be there” We say it, we preach it even – but do you believe it? There is a twist that may await you as well. Is your Team ready for, maybe years from now, the family of the fallen to be ready to move on with life as well? We aren’t meant to live in the past – just learn from it and view it in appropriate context. It is a delicate balance and not one we necessarily have the answer too.
For those who have passed – the struggle is over. We are the ones left behind. Two days without posting this is nothing compared to three decades. Did we carry everyone forward or did people get left behind. Two days, to reflect on loss and missing a piece of what makes you . . . not easy. We know loss.
What did we do? We encouraged family on the Team. My wife led a group of SWAT Wives. Families gathered and time was spent in a SWAT Community bonded by a common purpose and love.
Then, a couple of us started this company. We don’t forget, ever. We live a purpose driven life. A gift from all of those before, from you who read this, and those to come in the future. Founded in the One so that we can serve the All.
So plan for the day you are tested and plan for what follows. What is your driver? How are you hardwired?