I don’t know where to begin. The Academy was a time I will never forget. I made numerous brothers and sisters that I will always consider to be part of a family. We laughed together, got in trouble together, stressed together, ate together, got hurt together and grew together.
The last week was long, and full of anticipation. On the drive in on Tuesday I started to get a little nervous about the P.O.S.T. test. When I arrived at the Academy I soon realized that there were lots of us with test anxiety. About half the class elected to go on one last “motivational run” to the light pole and back, just before the test. The test was challenging, however from what I was told our class achieved the highest average in the state.
The day after we completed our state test we had one last PT challenge. We ran up Lookout Mountain. The run was actually very fun, the view was great and it was one last outing with all 42 recruits.
Graduation came too soon; time flew throughout those 22 weeks. We all marched in without badges and marched out together with badges. My Dad, a retired Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy, pinned my badge. It was an honor to have the badge passed on from him. I had family all around to support me. I wish I could have taken it all in but it was tunnel vision.
I would like to thank each and every person that had any part of this Academy! If I wrote what I wanted to this blog would turn into a book.
I asked a few of my classmates for their input and perspective on the Academy and this is what they wrote:
*Over the last 22 weeks I learned that no matter the challenge ahead, always do your best and never give up.
*A lesson I have learned is that no matter how bad the outcome looks or how hard the road looks to get there just keep on pushing through and that most of the time it is mind over body. Your body might say it can't do it but you can choose to do it and complete it.
*Over the last 22 weeks, the most important thing I've learned is to never give up. Things may not always go the way you planned, expected or wanted them to, but at the end of the day the most important thing is to go home to your family.
*Working hard is important; however, having fun is essential. This simply means that during the Academy you will be required to work hard to succeed, but remember to have fun too. Maybe you will not have fun 100% of the time. But, you should at least enjoy some of it.
*Hard work paid off. I gave up a lot of weekends to study. It was stressful but it was worth it.
*Being an officer isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.
*My favorite motto throughout the Academy is "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” Always keep your eyes on the goal.
*A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
*Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8. I use this because I have spent my entire life serving others. Through the Boy Scouts, the military and now as a Deputy Sheriff. It is my belief that this is what God has intended for me to do.
I will finish with stay safe out there and remain United in Blue. It has been one of the greatest journeys of my life.