Well today is my work anniversary. I officially began my 25th year. I was hired in December 1991. But on January 2nd 1992, I worked my very first tour “on the job”. After a brief training period, I was assigned to the then 25 Div ‘D’ platoon. I swiftly moved over to 1 District and 17 Div ‘D’, then back to 25 Div ‘B’. Back to the Shwiggity for a stint on the ARU Report desk before being shipped off to the “college of knowledge”. When I returned from OPC, I trained on 17 Div ‘B’. I then got shipped to the great white north of the region. I landed on 26 Div ‘B’ (Sunderland, then Uxbridge). In 96 I got shipped back to the land of streetlights and suburbia, landing on 18 Div ‘A and C’. As the new millennium came, I got the opportunity to grow my hair long and have a reason to stop taking showers. Off to the Intelligence Branch DEU I went. I got to pretend to be bad guys and followed a lot of real bad folks around while they plyed their nefarious trades. After playing Starsky & Hutch, it was time to get a hair cut and a shave. Back to 17 Div ‘C’ I went. Then another cool opportunity. I got a taste of the tactical Ninja world, being reassigned to the Nuclear Security Div. After a period of playing with all kinds of cool toys that go bang and boom, it was time to go back to harness. Hello 19 Div ‘B’. After a time back in 2 District, it was time to come full circle and return to my roots. It was 2007 and my life perspectives had changed. Elizabeth and I were sporting a two year old “mini-Wolfy” who was starting to walk & talk. I wanted to be closer to home. Well back to 18 Div I went. And this is where I’m still playing cops & robbers. I’ve worked on ‘C’, ‘A’ and most recently ‘D’ platoons.
As I sit and find myself reminiscing about days gone by, I find myself shocked and in awe of the things I’ve got to see and do. I’ve had a front row seat to the most awesome show in the world. I’ve worked with a lot of good and honourable Sisters & Brothers. I’ve gone smashing through closed doors, not really knowing what could be waiting for us on the other side. I’ve been one of the people present when a great many of folks young and old have taken their lasts breaths. I’ve been witness to virtually every way that we human beings can possibly do harm to one another, and a few I couldn’t have possibly imagined in a million years. I’ve gone from being a naive rookie thinking I’m gonna save the world. To becoming a realist and coming to grips with the fact that all I’m really doing is moving from one crisis to another and just putting a bandaid on it so the folks affected can get through another day. I’ve seen countless of my Brethren get hurt on the job. I’ve been to far too many police funerals. I’ve experienced more adrenaline rushes then the human body is designed to take and no doubt that’s come with a price I have yet to pay.
This job has certainly been one helluva roller coaster. A lot of ups, and a lot of downs. I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with a lot of people who would reflexively lay down their lives for me, and I them. I still believe strongly that this isn’t just a job, but a calling. It takes a unique person to agree to strap on a vest and gun belt, and go out every day with the knowledge that it very well could be their last in this realm. I’m not sure if it’s courage or insanity that drives an individual to keep on writing a blank cheque, agreeing to selflessly give their all. Sometimes having to cash that cheque with tragic consequences. But I do believe it is honourable. And I wouldn’t change it.
So here’s to an interesting first 3/4s being done, bumps, bruises and all. And here’s to hoping the last quarter (or less) is as smooth as possible.
And finally, to my Sisters & Brothers who’ve weathered the storm and got out to enjoy sunnier days….I say to you, well done, well earned and well overdue. To those like me, who have crested that hill and see the epilogue of this career approaching….keep on doing whatever it is that got you this far along the journey. Anything that helps ensure you’re all walking out to the parking lot at the end of your tours is a good day.
And to you “rookies”….have fun. Be motivated. Be safe. Don’t take your surroundings for granted when you’re donning the blue. Most of all, take this next tidbit very seriously. You are all now part of another family. Your blue family. Look after each other. Back each other up, there is no room for the individual in this sandbox. You don’t have to be best drinking buddies and you don’t have to swap spit in the shower together. But you damned well do have to protect each other in every sense of the concept. This job can’t predict when your really bad day will be upon you. But it can prepare you for it when it does come. One of the most important things that will help ensure you’re successful on that bad day is the notion that you and your brethren absolutely will look after each other. That only works if you take a firm stance that at no time will you blade your Sisters & Brothers.