Serving community strains family, creates stress

Having a parent as a civil servant is not an easy thing, especially for me. My dad, a sergeant at the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, has been serving our community for the last 18 years, longer than I have been alive.
Everyday when I get home from school my dad is getting ready for work. He usually works 4 days a week, but it seems like longer, since we works from 5pm to 3am.

He usually patrols and supervises his deputies around the county. He does a lot of paperwork and makes sure each and every one of his deputies is safe every day. At home, his phone is constantly ringing and 95 percent of the time it’s a co-worker asking for his help. My dad constantly takes calls at dinner, family gatherings, and even chill days at home.

I do love what my dad’s job, and I’ve come to appreciate it over the years. I used to hate how much he worked and the holidays we had to cut short so he could go off and keep our community safe. I even remember spending Christmas Eve with only my mom and brother because my dad had to work that night; none of us were happy about it.

Ever since I was little, I knew the dangers of my dad’s job, but it was never real until this summer. It finally hit me when a family friend of ours, Brian Bachmann, was killed on duty. His death was more of a reality check than anything else. My dad happened to be a good friend of his, and I saw how this affected him. It affected all of us.

The first thing that came to my mind was, “what if that had been my dad?” The question bounced around in my head for the remainder of summer, and persists even now.

Seeing everyone I’ve grown up with and loved all my life come together as a family to help and console each other really helped all of us come to terms with what happened and taught me to be proud of what my dad does.

I can tell that my mom and brother are scared to even say bye to my dad before work, because they are scared of what could happen. I’m mostly afraid of losing not only my dad, but also all of his co-workers whom I have grown up with and loved all my life.

My dad’s job is scary and it has it dangers, but I’m proud of the line of work he’s in. My dad goes to work each day, leaving us behind, to make sure our community is safe. The ultimate sacrifice and willingness my dad, and other countless other officers, has to leave their family and friends behind to protect others is truly great and admirable even though it may be scary.

Recent events in our community and the officer community I live within has changed how I see and value things. I want to spend more time with my family and go to functions with my parents. I want to spend as much time as possible with them and enjoying every minute of it, that is what is so important to me now. So I want to encourage others to tell the people in your life that you love them and show appreciation to those who keep us safe.