Thursday, August 23, 2012

Graduation Day

From August 9, 2012

Today my little brother graduated from A.P.O.S.T. in Northport.  My brother-in-law told us not to expect much.  You would almost think considering what these men and women are willing to give up to serve in the positions they have chosen that there would be a huge celebration and demonstration of thankfulness from the public...complete with press coverage and everything.  Like most positions of service, there is not much recognition outside the proud families and friends present.  However, it was a nice ceremony.  What was the best about it was seeing so many men and women commit their lives to serving others.  The keynote was given by a U. S. Marshall and I enjoyed listening to him.  He offered advice to the new officers.  Some of the items that stuck out to me were:
  • sometimes you don't have to  carry out the letter of the law for justice to be served
  • you don't have to ticket every person you stop, sometimes a warning gets the job done
  • have compassion for the people you serve
  • remember you are serving even when you are not on duty
  • be mindful of what you post on facebook and other social media outlets, what opinions you share...what you do reflects on your department as well...and someone is always watching...
The class president also gave a speech.  She was pretty succinct and closed with, "Stand to be seen, speak to be heard and shut up to be appreciated."  Good advice.

Today was not just the culmination of 12 weeks of training.  It was the realization of a dream.  A goal my little brother has had for quite some time.  While he has served in areas that have allowed him to step towards achieving this stepping stone, it was not until today, when his certificate was handed to him, that he could mark a key step off his list of things to do to achieve his ultimate career goal.

Proud is not a strong enough word for how I feel.  But I will say it, I am so proud of him.  I am so proud of him for being the person he is.  I pray he will allow God to guide his decisions in all that he does.  I pray that God will protect him and keep him safe.  I pray he will find success in his chosen profession and attain each and every goal he sets.  I pray he will be happy in a profession that requires selflessness, that can be dangerous, that is often  under appreciated.  I pray his desire for justice and love of the law will always be as strong as it is now. 

After graduation we enjoyed a family lunch, not something we are able to do often.  I can only think of maybe one other time we have all been together in a restaurant and that was after Poppa's graduation!  We didn't have as many members then, ha!

Congratulations John Wayne!  I am so thankful I was able to be a part of your big day!

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