I met briefly Detective Faulkner’s family and read of their battle of this disease. They were so…amazing. It’s all I can think to describe it. Amazing. I visited Detective Faulkner in the hospital a few hours before he died. I was kinda worried I’d be intruding. But a co-worker told me that he’d be glad to know someone cared if that was him in that bed. So I went. I went in and visited and explained why I was there. I got to say a few words to him. Tell him that I appreciated what he did as an officer, and through the battle that he was fighting. I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day.
I don’t think I’d ever been to a funeral of someone who wasn’t a relative of me or my wife before today. Honestly, it was a little intimidating. I knew I would be surrounded by some of the greatest people in my city. His family. The men and women of the Trotwood Police Department, and others across the Valley. Here I was walking through a sea of blue, and from all over. I greeted a few of the Trotwood officers. I knew that they had lost a brother too. Not a “blood” brother, but a bond that sometimes can be closer. Today, I caught a glimpse of how deep that bond is. Seeing men, tough men, moved to tears at the thought of seeing him one last time.
I waited until the last minute to go to the front to the casket. I didn’t feel worthy of that moment. Not me. But I went up there and did what came natural. I saluted. I was seeing a truly great man for the last time. Then I turned and stood in the back. It was a moving tribute to a truly great man.
Then, I had to go back to work. At that moment, it was one of the hardest things I’d done. And I thought about it all day. Would that many people come to see me? Would I have someone talking about me like that? Then my thoughts gravitated to those who were left. Specifically those I am sent to. The guys over at Trotwood were cleaning out as desk. I wish I could have been there for them. I’m sure that had support, but I wanted to be there. Be there for those who are there for me. For those people who a majority of the time are cursed because they hand out speeding tickets. I wanted to let them know that there are people who truly support them. Who care about them. Who are concerned with their struggles.
I don’t know where this road will lead. All I know is something was started in me that day I talked to Dispatcher Richendollar on 9/11/08. When I heard from the officers in Kettering and Colerain TWP that they’d been an officer for over 30 years and had never received a nice email saying “Than You” for no reason other than they were police, something happened. When I got a gold-embossed thank you card from a Police Chief I likely will never meet , something happened. Every time I got a Thank you from an officer for just sending an email, or saying “Hi” in a Speedway, something happens. And today, seeing what greatness is about, something happened in my heart.