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Jun
24
2024

There’s fulfillment and pride in service! - Editor's Letter

Posted 23 days ago ago by Admin

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Mahatma Gandhi

As a result of a confluence of events, I recently found myself reflecting on the concept of serving others. Whether it be family, community, country, God, or even a mere stranger, in my own personal experience, there’s something very fulfilling about helping someone in need.

I never really thought about it, but my entire family has dedicated most of their working lives to service-related careers and efforts. I myself served as a U.S. Marine, then a decade with Fire Rescue, then worked as an EMS helicopter pilot. Heck, I am such a sucker for service, I even serve on the board of my homeowners association. My wife was a math teacher for much of her professional career. Our daughter is a deputy sheriff. As a family we have all served others through missionary work in Haiti and in Central America.

The catalyst for these thoughts happened when my daughter was recently injured during a physical altercation on the job. Of course, I am not naive when it comes to the dangers of being a street cop. Law enforcement is an inherently risky profession. During my time in the military, as a firefighter, and a HEMS pilot, I found myself in high-risk situations. Even doing missionary work in third-world regions can be super-sketchy if not on high alert. I would go so far to say that I have dodged a metaphorical bullet or two.

The real question I was wrestling with was, why do people do it?

Why do average people not only serve others with little expectation of a return, but very often are willing to put themselves at risk? This question is even more relevant when it comes to people who serve in high-risk environments like the military, fire-rescue, public safety, and law enforcement. I mean, there’s almost no chance they are doing it for the money. Do they have a hero-complex? Are they adrenaline junkies?

Whether connecting to community, or the personal sense of joy one gets, I ‘m sure there are dozens of positive reasons why people serve. As I often do in the lead up to our law enforcement issue, I recently spent a couple days with a law enforcement aviation unit. This year, I had the pleasure and opportunity to work with the Atlanta Police Department’s (APD’s) aviation unit.

If you check out the story on page 44, you will clearly see that the APD’s aviation squad clearly takes pride in what they do and get a deep sense of satisfaction every time they utilize their helicopters to protect a ground officer from harm, or put a bad guy behind bars.

First responders in public safety are always the ones sent to fix problems the individuals they are called to help cannot fix themselves. They often attempt to help people on what might be the worst day of the victim’s life.

This issue is in honor of those who dedicate their careers and personal lives in service to others. Join us at APSCON 2024 in Houston, Texas, where we will raise a glass in honor of those who serve!

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