Thursday, February 20, 2014

mission companions

Mission companions, Rick and Aaron Raine
A few weeks ago, I was working on a project in the basement.  Rick was not working that day.  I heard Rick call my name and then come down to the basement to find me.  He had a shocked look on his face.  He said, "Rob just called.  There's been a shooting and 2 Utah County Deputies were shot."  He didn't say it at first and I didn't even want my mind to go far there, but then he added, "And one of them didn't make it."  It was so sobering.  We later discovered that the Deputy that was killed was Cory Wride.  He served in Rick's mission in New York City at that same time as Rick.  They were not ever companions, but had companions in common.  Aaron was Rick's last companion during his mission and he also served with Elder Wride.  Aaron is also a cop in Mesa, AZ so he had another connection to Cory Wride. So, several of Rick's mission companions were in town for the funeral services.  Rick had to work the day of the funeral, but was able to get someone to cover a few hours of his shift in the afternoon.  So, Rick left the hospital and drove to the Cemetery for the graveside service.  He met up with a few of his friends and mission companions.  It took over 2 hours to get from UVU to the cemetery in Spanish Fork.  Schools was dismissed early in Spanish Fork to help alleviate that portion of the traffic situation.  There were several hundred people at the cemetery for the service.  Rick said it was a very impressive scene to drive through town and see Scouts and other bystanders waving American flags.  Even more impressive was the display of officers in uniform, including Aaron from Mesa.  Every department in Utah County was represented along with many departments from throughout the State and other states throughout the country including Alaska.
One thing that happened at the cemetery was called "Last Call."  It's where they call the Deputy over the radio using his name and the formal language of the radio system.  All of the officers at the cemetery had their radios on and it could be heard throughout the cemetery.  Rick recorded it.  We've listened to it a few times now and every time it brings tears to our eyes.  It is so powerful.
I have thought about a few things since this event took place.  A few things come to mind…How grateful I am and how easily I take for granted those people who serve us and protect our lives and our freedoms all the while their lives at risk.  They actually put their lives on the line every singe day to protect each of us.  And we just get to go on living our lives in relative safety without much worry.  I've heard it said that "I wouldn't let my husband work in law enforcement, military, FBI, etc."  And I guess we are all welcome to make that demand.  However, I am now a little more aware of the fact that people do allow their husbands, brothers, fathers, etc. serve and protect me every day, risking their lives so that we can live in a safer, better world.  That really is a big risk they are willing to take.  And Cory Wride took that risk and now his family lives without him in their lives so that Utah could be a safer place.  I'm happy to know that they will be with their father again some day.  I also realize what a small world we live in really.  Although Rick was never companions with Elder Wride, they knew of each other in New York.  And also through their loose connection through the hospital.  Unfortunately, the emergency department and the police force are a little bit more acquainted with each other than I am comfortable with.  But, again, those are choices these people make.  And I am thankful for them for doing so.
So, Aaron and his wife spent some time in our home after the services.  Conversation went back and forth between mission stories and police stories and kid stories and Church stories and back again.  It was a very pleasant evening listening to these two friends remember old times.  It was unfortunate  circumstances, however, that brought them together that evening.  I can see why Rick always talks of his time spent in New York with Elder Raine with fondness.

1 comment:

Amara said...

One comforting thing to think about, is how his death meant something. He was killed in the line of duty --like you said, making the county a safer place for the rest of us. The same day we lost my nephew to a self inflicted injury that was senseless. We were in the hospital trying to deal with that for hours, while deputies came and went from the same wing if the hospital. Sometimes I think there is too much sadness in the world.