Hello and Welcome!
Welcome to our new LVMPO Wives website! We are so excited to finally be up and running and hope you enjoy all it has to offer!
I'm not someone who particularly enjoys writing, so, I figured I'd kick off the blog with a little introduction and history on how LVMPO Wives came about. Then, let some of you who enjoy writing can rotate and share in the fun. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions or ideas that you may have for the blog in the comment section below. :)
How it all started...
This journey began for me when my hubby started with Metro April of 2006. He was scheduled to begin the next academy, when the tragedy took place that called Sgt. Prendes home. I remember sitting at our apartment pregnant with our first child, watching the services on TV, realizing that this was what he had signed up for, as the flag-draped coffin in the back of the Metro truck was driven down the Las Vegas Strip one last time and my husband stood out there paying his last respects. I was so moved by the God-honoring celebration of his life and the impact that his life had on so many lives (not only in life but in his death), the brotherhood he had, as well as, the outpouring of sympathy and support from the community here. As I was still an outsider, it seemed like a tight knit community.
Statistically, it was a relatively safe job that has its dangers, but it was proud, respected and a nobel profession. Coming from a family that has served our country with honor over several generations (both my grandfathers, my Dad, 5 brothers, a brother-in-law and several cousins served/serve in the US Army), it seemed like a fine fit for me. After my hubby graduated the academy and started to see all the evils of the world up close and personal, he would often reiterate that I should not tell people what his profession was, unless we knew them. I was relatively a "newbie" to Las Vegas when he began with Metro and really didn't know many people outside of work and church. Having those outlets, gave me some friends with whom I could share life. However, when I was around other police wives, I saw the struggles that they had balancing the life of a police wife in a city that was not native to them, where they had no family support structure and all the while trying to fly under the radar as to the work their husbands were doing.
A few months after my husband graduated, I looked for a wives group here and couldn't find one. But, when I saw that there were police wife groups in other states, I was certain that with all the new hires coming on the department, surely, someone would start one. Little did I know that I would be that person. In May 2009, another Metro wife (our husbands were academy mates) came over to help me put together a scrapbook for one of our husbands academy mates family who was moving away. I shared with her my thoughts about starting a wives group and she thought it was a great idea. A few days later, after 2 years of waiting and hoping that a wives group would be formed, the LVMPO Wives Facebook group was born. It was my hope that it would give Metro Wives a safe place to connect with each other, build friendships, encourage one another and support each other in this ever-changing life, which we live.
We are all familiar with the world of plans being canceled at the last minute--driving separate to date night, explaining to our children why their dad can't be at their baseball game, dance, recital or that he had to leave early before the big finale. Not to mention, all the interruptions of Court, OT, meetings, training, etc. that come with the territory. We know how it feels when our heart is racing because we haven't heard back from them after their last call and the relief and joy we feel when we DO hear their voice again. When an officer dies in the line of duty, it is a grim reminder of the reality of the dangers that they face daily on their job. We pray every day with our little ones that daddy and his coworkers return home safe and sound to us and the other families the next morning. When we hear the garage door open followed by the sound of the alarm being disarmed, we can breathe easy and thank God for keeping them safe for one more shift.
Over the last decade, our department has experienced more than enough tragedy with the loses of Sgt. Prendes, Officers Manor, Beitel, Nettleton, Leach, Vanbuskirk, Soldo and Beck. The level playing fields one envisions as a police wife changed with the tragic deaths of Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo last year when they lost their lives while eating lunch, simply because they wore the uniform. Many of us cried for a week straight or until we had no tears left. Many were paralyzed with fear and cried watching their husbands walk out the door for work. It hit very close to home for all of us, and rocked our families worlds--as the nightmare we feared was now the reality of two of our own sweet ladies and their kids.
It was during that tragedy that the LVMPO Wives came together as a powerful force for good. We showered the officers working those difficult days with lunch, drinks, snacks, notes and whatever support we could, as they mourned the loss of their brothers and went to work unsure what the day had in store for them. We supported the families in many ways during the days and months to follow, as they maneuvered through the darkest days of their lives.
Now, with over 650 wives in the LVMPO Wives hidden Facebook group, it's become apparent that we need a place we can better and more easily organize things--especially when it comes to stepping up and helping Metro families that could use a little assistance. What started as a social and supportive Facebook group in 2009, has grown to meet the needs of many in our Metro family. We have provided a variety of cards for various occasions, flowers, Meal-trains, babysitting, money, and much more to those who have found themselves in a time of need. We feel blessed to be able to have accomplished all we have to better our blue family whether it was in difficult, joyful or sorrowful times of life.
There is no reason any LEO wife or family should have to feel as though they are struggling through life's most difficult situations alone. The Metro family is BIG-- the Blue Family is HUGE! We all have different gifts, talents and abilities that can benefit those around us. Small acts of kindness can go a LO-O-O-NG way for those struggling. Nobody can do everything, but EVERYONE can do something and together we can make a difference! :o)
Your Sister in Blue,