Today WDTN aired a news story about me. The back story is that one of the deputies in the Greene County Sheriff’s Office (I don’t want to reveal who it was in case they want to remain anonymous) forwarded my email to Megan O’Rourke. When she called me I was headed to the Miami County Law Enforcement Memorial. I was quite surprised that she wanted to interview me, but I said sure. When Megan and her camera man arrived Thursday Morning, I’m sure they could tell I was nervous. But the interview and filming went very well. They were great.
Now, I’ll be honest. I usually like attention. I attract attention even when I don’t mean to or want it. I will admit though, I was a little apprehensive about this. I mean, after all, I’m not the point of my mission. The way I see it is that God wanted to reach and encourage the First Responders, and I’m just the tool He uses to do it. I’m thankful for the opportunity, and it’s my desire that God uses this in some way. Use it to reach or help an officer or fire fighter out there. What I told Megan was that “Some people live their whole lives with no idea why they were put on the earth. I’m just blessed that I was able to find out and be doing it.”
At the Memorial on Friday I was given the opportunity to march into the ceremony with the officers and retirees. it was in that moment, that I felt, for lack of a better word, totally at home. I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I can’t explain that feeling to you. It’s just something you know, and once you do, life is never the same.
The ceremony was great, as were the speakers. Abbie Dulle was one of the guests, but the death of her husband, Sgt Brian Dulle, still to fresh for her asked Sheriff Sims to speak for her, and he did a wonderful job. He encouraged us not to forget the heroes that make the ultimate sacrifice, but to also remember their families.
Then came time for the reading of the names. Each officer from Montgomery County who had laid their lives down for out cities and county. Then, the bagpipes. To hear the mournful tune of Amazing Grace on bagpipes is moving. A tear or two comes to my eyes every time I hear it. Then as more bagpipes join and the music swells, you feel it with every part of your being. Again, I can’t explain it.
When people think about me, they will be able to say that these guys are part of me. They may not know where I stand politically, or who my favorite teams are, but they know that Mike is dedicated to cops and fire fighters. My pastor, Pat Murray, had always defined ministry as more than “pastoring a church”. When he explains ministry, it’s in terms of a city – this is his city. When he talks about “his city” you believe it. But until I started reaching out to First Responders and getting involved, I never knew what that felt like. But I do now.