Peace Keepers begin response as soon as the need is made known… But arrival on scene may be a while away. I do not think we will ever have enough employed Peace Keepers to solve the need problem every time. Sometimes you are right at the call location… Sometimes you are miles away or busy on another assignment! I have worked as long as twelve hours continuously without a break with waiting calls stacking up awaiting their turn and with no other unit available.
Via memories, movies and TV this week, I have gathered too many views to describe in relation to the struggle of keeping the peace… I have meditated long on this subject and measured all I saw and heard through the magnification of my 50 years of keeping the peace. I wish it were not like it is… What it has been was bad enough, trying enough, heart breaking enough and sometimes too greatly disappointing. Now our world is even more greatly populated with people who do not think nor act as we were taught to think and act… Peace Keepers are our front line of buffering and defense against this trend… Every Peace Keeper must be an educator and trainer… Most of them (those we deal with) will not learn if we (the Peace Keepers) do not convey to them what they need to know, what we must do and why we must do it.
I remembered faces and cases as I viewed some of what I saw this week. Some of the emotions experienced by me during the events I remembered surfaced again. I did not like those emotions and experiences then… They were still unpleasant in memory… So I identified them, evaluated them and filed them away again. I never got used to all of the things I saw, heard and experienced but I did learn how to function properly in spite of them.
I watched one young police officer arrive at the scene of a “shots fired, assist officers” assignment. When he arrived he saw a basic academy classmate lying on his back on the pavement struggling to breathe. The downed officer’s partner was loosening the injured officer’s collar and clothing… The injured officer was not responsive. The two basic academy classmates were close friends who worked the same shift in different assigned districts… They were planning a several days fishing trip with their wives, to leave in just two days. The injured officer died from the gunshots very soon during surgery! His friend had a very difficult next few days!
The arriving assist unit had to immediately adjust to doing business as usual to check the area for the shooter. The demand was an immediate changing of attitude and emotions no matter how strong they were… (The shooter was caught)… Peace keeping is like that… Make the adjustment as necessary or you might be the next casualty. The force of your will cannot keep them alive no matter how greatly you want them to survive and live… Usually someone else must care for their medical needs as you take care of enforcement needs… Investigation must be done, perpetrators must be sought, caught and prosecuted… If you want to survive and live then you must set your conscious thoughts to act according to training and experience and get the job done as best you are able. If someone else is not available, give the medical attention needed… If someone else is already there, unless you are requested to give medical attention, you must give law enforcement attention!
I saw the same thing in a movie about the military taking of Hamburger Hill in Viet Nam, but magnified many times over, as the soldiers of the 101st Airborne made ten assaults up the hill and retreats back down that hill before it was secured..
I saw it again as I thought on the beginnings of this country in the lives of the Minute Men… They were young, mobile and agile… They were the first to raise the alarm of coming invaders and usually the first to arrive to engage or resist the invaders… They were usually the youngest 25% of the local militia… They first engaged the British at Concord and Lexington when the British were advancing to attack their storage site of ammunition and arms… One moment following a horse or mule pulling a plow or conducting other business… The next moment grabbing the musket to spread the alarm or stand off British troops as they moved to attack some close-by location. The Militia were citizens who conducted all general business on a regular basis (occasionally even clergymen), but who also trained together to learn to perform as a military unit to protect those being attacked.
I also thought on the subject of community relations in which the chaplain unit I supervised was trained to function as ambassadors to the peaceful community and as peaceful negotiators or intervenors in hot or difficult situations. We rode on patrol with police as unpaid, volunteer chaplains to help with difficult people. We were on call 24/7 to respond to call out as we conducted our regular business and our personal lives. We walked foot patrol in teams of two or more, depending upon the immediate demand, on our ocean front resort strip to assist officers or to handle unique difficult situations that did not respond to officer’s efforts. We were trained to go hands on if and when necessary if an officer needed physical assistance and other help was not available. When one or more officers were handling a difficult situation involving extreme force and making arrests, if they did not need our physical hands on help, we became a barrier, forming a wall or pocket of protection to keep the crowds away until the officers were finished with their actions. Our most frequent late night busy places were in the vicinity of local night clubs as the night wore on, the sidewalks became jammed with people and the club patrons became inebriated or rowdy. Many of us were clergy with backgrounds in law enforcement or the military. At that time, I was also a volunteer police officer and volunteer police chaplain assigned to supervise the Police/Community Relations Chaplain Program.
Today all Peace Keepers and Chaplains who work with them are still volunteers whether they are paid or not. Peace Keepers are all the current personification of the first Minute Men, but today they include women as well. In the Revolutionary War, there were times where the women were on the defensive lines and firing muskets right along with the men… Some women have done this all through our history because they would not have survived if they didn’t!… Or they took defensive positions or sometimes proactive positions so the available men could fight in other places where they were more sorely needed. Now, women are vital parts of law enforcement and the military.
Unlike many wars of the past, there are no Conscripts, no Draftees, in the ranks of our Peace Keepers today. All choose to be where they are assigned willingly, whether in law enforcement, homeland defense or on foreign fields… EVERY ONE OF THEM VOLUNTEERED!!! Some of them are paid law enforcers, some are unpaid law enforcers who do the same work as the paid ones… All of the Military are paid and they are all volunteers whether they are in the Regular Military or in the National Guard.
I have made it a point of great effort all of my life to learn all I can about the actions of war between factions both large and small. I have committed myself to learn all I could about the war between good and evil that takes place all over our world. I still want to be involved. When I cannot engage in actions physically, I can engage in actions by learning all I can, by giving support, respect and right treatment to all with whom I have contact, especially the Peace Keepers of law enforcement and the military and by giving whatever support I can to you/them in prayer, personal assistance and standing up for you/them when others are running you/them down… I can still be a good will ambassador, teacher and trainer as long as I can walk and talk.
The Spiritual Realm is my main world… My Commander-In-Chief called me to that long ago as a child. Peace Keepers and peace keeping are a major part of my main world, as are my church and my family… All other endeavors are secondary. I know that Peace Keepers need support and prayer and I can give those things even if I cannot go onto the field with you/them. I personally know the demands upon Peace Keepers from 50 years of experience as a Peace Keeper and learning all I could when I could. I know how to love and pray for Peace Keepers and do anything else I can as I have opportunity!
Peace Keepers, from the Minute Men through current times, are and have been the building blocks of our National Foundation!!! All of our rights and freedoms have been continuously protected to some major degree by most of their actions. We would not be here as we are now if they had not acted when they did and still do act in current times. We many citizens owe so very much to all of our Peace Keepers!
Peace Keepers, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE, ARE DOING AND WILL YET DO!!! Life as we know it could not exist without you!
“BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!” ALWAYS be alert, watchful, suspicious and wary. Take the very best care of you as you care for and about others. See to the strength and well being of your spirit as well as all the rest of yourself. Your spirit must be strong for you to be successful. All of this is by your own choice… He has made provision for you but it is up to you to learn it, take it and put it to use for the best results possible. We want you to go home safely at the end of your tour.
Call or write if I may be of any service… Or if you just want to encourage me… Feedback encourages all who write… It helps to know we are reaching someone who reads the message.
Donna is still home and doing better.
Donnie is still working but without his truck which is still in my back yard.
I am doing well also.
Thank you for the responses, care, concern and prayers… Keep it up… It is working!
As it has always been… So it still is!!!
“VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST…
AND THEN GO TO WAR,
WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST…
AND THEN SEEK TO WIN.” Sun tzu
Training and practice are everything!
Without them, the best results are not obtained!
ONLY LIVE PEACE KEEPERS SEE THE VICTORY!!!
THEY SEE IT ONLY BECAUSE OTHERS HAVE MADE THEIR ETERNAL PAYMENTS OF SWEAT, BLOOD, TEARS AND LIFE FOR THAT VICTORY!
WITH THE DEEPEST OF APPRECIATION AND RESPECT…
BE BLESSED (A CONDITION TO BE ENVIED)…
BE SUCCESSFUL… BE SAFE…
[My injunction to be safe means doing all you know to do as you do your job... it means doing the best you can with what you have where you are using all your faculties to get the job done well and with good results conquering evil and keeping or restoring peace... it does not mean to avoid duty and honor... it does not mean to cower or allow anything to hinder you in the process of duty according to rules, law and ethics... it means that if the demand takes your earthly life you destroy as much evil as possible in the process. That is my definition of being safe... doing the best you can and leaving the rest to God or whomever else is responsible... being best employed for the sake and protection of all the things and people that we hold dear.]
I represent, write for… and give the credit to:
God the Father (my Commander-in-Chief),
Jesus Christ the Son (the Eternal Captain of my life) and
the Holy Spirit of God (my Eternal Teacher, Keeper and Guide).
In Christ I live… with Him and for you I serve…
And I rejoice that you are there whether you are Christian or not…
For God, Country and the Peace Keeper…
D. R. (Don) Staton, Chaplain to Peace Keepers,
Surviving Peace Keeper,
Virginia State Police Alumni,
RETIRED Police Officer,
RETIRED Police Instructor,
RETIRED Chaplain Administrator,
Community Service Officer (Traffic Safety),
Virginia Beach Police Dept.
3709 Beacon Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
All rights reserved. This Message:
Is for Peace Keepers and their loved ones and it may be forwarded with the complete message intact to individuals and web sites…
May not be duplicated in print nor publications without permission….
May not be used in any manner for personal financial gain nor profit
Except for quoted material attributed to a specific source, all material in CHAPLAIN CORNER is my personal opinion gained from 49 years of working with people in peace keeping and is not to be construed to represent the policies and opinions of any department with whom I have served or am serving.
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