March 14, 2023

His Badge, My Story- LEOW & Author Vicki Gustafson

His Badge, My Story- LEOW & Author Vicki Gustafson

Vickie is going to talk about her life behind the badge. And that is the wife of the LEOW, 42 years. She has stood by her husband and law enforcement. Vicki wrote an incredible book called His Badge, My Story Insights for Law Enforcement Spouses and Loved Ones. Fantastic book. You should look into it. You'll also learn how Vicki had to dig deep, relying on her faith, strength, and courage to stay afloat on the roller coaster ride that many law enforcement couples go through.

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Hi everyone and welcome to this week's episode of the Enduring the Badge Podcast.  I'm host Jerry Dean Lund and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode so please hit that subscribe button and why your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or Apple Podcasts.  It says hey this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people so please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review and just maybe by doing that it will push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message.  
Everyone I'm super excited to announce that I've teamed up with an incredible person and that person is Dr. Tia White. She is a public safety, wellness,  and empowerment specialist.  Together we have combined our knowledge and expertise to create a five-day training course.  Now about training course you can attend different days without training course which everyone's fit you but day one would be peer support and how to structure that and  get your team up and running and maybe some of the legalities about that. Days two three and four are going to be about advanced wellness and sleep and finances and family dynamics and diet and nutrition and retirement and mindfulness and meditation and how to be that complete first responder but we did not want to leave out the significant other in your life and that is going to be on day five. Feel free to bring that up here. 

My very special guest today is Vickie Gustafson.  Vickie is going to talk about her life behind the badge.  And that's of the LEOW  wife, 42 years.  She's supported her husband and law enforcement.  Vicki wrote an , incredible book called His Badge, My story insights for spouses and loved ones of law enforcement officers.  Incredible book.  You need to check it out.  And you're also going to just hear about how Vicki had to dig deep, reliant on her faith,  her strength, and her courage to hold tight on that roller coaster ride that many law enforcement couples experience.  Now let's jump right into this episode with Vickie.  

So how are you doing Vicki?  

I'm doing wonderful.  How about you?  

Doing well.  Thank you so much.  Thank you so much for being on the podcast today.  Vicki, can you introduce the to yourself to the audience?  

Yes, absolutely.  My name is Vicki Gustafson and she said Jerry and I am the wife of Jay Gustafson.  He's retired, our link to Texas police officer.  He served almost 27 years, it's all into police department.  And then he volunteered.  I don't know who does this, but he volunteered for a few years at the Dahloray  and even Garden Police Department.  And then he moved on to the last 12 years of this service.  He moved to the court security officer at the federal level, US Marshal Court Security Officer.  He did that Dallas and transferred to Fortress.  So total 42 years in law enforcement.  So I have lots of experiences of police law, but the law enforcement officers want that.  This was sure.  And we re-beam children and the love of my life are the five grandkids that they bless this  with. And so I spent a lot of time with my grandkids and my ranch room.  They were 10, 9, 8, 8, and 7.  But no twins.  

Wow, that's an awesome world.  That's an awesome world.  I kind of just, it's mind blowing a little bit to have someone have such a long career and law enforcement. And it's such a different one that's moved through different career paths.  

Yeah, it really goes interesting because when I have some, he told me when we were dating  that he thought I wanted to be a police officer and I thought, okay, whatever, you know,  I was moved by 20, you know when I got married, I was 21.  So, so you know, I'm plundered, so I'm 21.  You're still thinking, you're really dope.  And I was, and so, two years later, he said, I'm going to go apply the Orlando Police Department.  I said, okay, I'm thinking, oh, he's going to do this for three to five years.  You know, click cops and rompers.  Get it out of this.  Yeah.  So, I'm going to go back to work for my dad, which was a secure, safe job.  My dad will be car dealership and he can live up the ranks in a little bit, right, dairy.  Yeah.  Well, 42 years later, and he's supposed to show you that if it's, if it's God's will,  that you are following his path and that's, there's nothing that a police will have to do.  


All of his path, where he's passionate about.  And so, what I did, I mean, there was a quite a journey because when he was an  only-to-place officer, he served in quite a few different positions within the department,  which made it quite interesting.  So, it seems I got it down.  And then, guess what, I didn't have any to learn how to do it all over again, because he  became a different position in the department.  So, it was always crazy.  


And then we're using the three kids, because our kids are, we had three kids in four years.  So, it was really busy.  Yes. 

Yeah, I would say you're right.  Yeah, it was really busy.  


And especially I'm sure he was working a number of different types of shifts.  And so-  

Oh, absolutely.  Yeah.  We worked everything.  And the very beginning of his career, he rotated shifts.  I wish that whatever departments were doing that, that they had stopped doing that, because  it's not good on their family, it's not good on their bodies, it's not good on anything.  I don't really see the value of any of them, but they rotated shifts for years, for a couple  of years, you know, three or four years.  That was really difficult.  You know, we were having our babies during all that time.  And, you know, it was just kind of a crazy learning experience, you know, as soon as I got the  Mid-Autorship down and changed the days and the students, I got that down, and he got that down,  and he'd be in the evenings, and, you know, that type of thing.  And then he moved in to become a training officer, and then he started, and became a detective,  and then he went into homicide, and then he became a sergeant, you know, and then he was,  yeah, eventually he was a, oh my gosh, my lemon, blank.  The by-surgent, you know, that was interesting because the Arlington Police Department,  they had by-sand narcotics combined, and so they decided that there were so  adult entertainment coming into Arlington, so they needed to split that department up,  and so they, so my husband was the first five sergeant for that, which was really interesting.  So they had a large, every baby and that helped the city council, right, the ordinances,  and that type of thing.  It was quite an interesting, those glad it was over when it was over.  

Yeah, yeah, it was like, like, that's right.  But the job was take a shower, I mean, break them then.  

Yeah, for good reason, for good reason.  

Vicky, during that time, you know, three kids, all this changing of career paths and shifts,  and stuff like that, you weren't thinking in your mind like, hey, I need to talk to him about  maybe we should not be headed down this career path.  

Never, never did I really think that, I mean, I thought at the very beginning that he would just,  you know, play cops and robbers for three to five years, but no, I never asked, you know,  oh, it's time for you to, you know, make a change or anything like that, because he was so passionate about  what he did, he just loved being a police officer, he could see it in his face, he could see it,  you know, he was just right the right path for him, so it would not be fair for me to, you know,  to encourage him to do something different. And he also encouraged me and stood by my side when I was  going through my career path, which was completely different in all of it. I owned a wedding and catering  business for 12 years, and so I was like, that checks the position, you know, everybody that I was very  happy, right? You know, the rides were happy, the mother of the bride was happy, you know,  everybody was happy and can't wait to get their wedding, you know, and my husband was resting, you know,  murderers or somebody, you know, just like this juxtaposition in our household, so we made a good balance,  it was a good balance for us, you know, I was, you know, I helped him stay connected with the community,  except when he was under cover for us, but you know, when he even starts to reign away from the  community and, like, every day society, you know, we need to join a bonus study, you know, you're,  you're hanging out way too much with all many law enforcement, you know, let's drag him back into  this society and so it really helped him stay balanced, that he could see the good in society,  because I think that's one thing that he, that a lot of police officers, you know, that's where  they're comfort zone is and that's where they, you know, can connect with and every day society doesn't see them  as, you know, always see as a uniform or a batch, you know, and so I think it's good for them to see them  and pair jeans and, you know, just being a dad for, you know, or being on husband or whatever,  and so, and it's good for the officers, well, so, so good, it's a win win.  

Yeah, and it's, it's great to stay connected with your, your buddies and spend time with them  off duty, but I could see how that would, could be a trap, right? It trap into your,  staying in your comfort zone, you know, like you're saying, which can lead to some negative  things, especially in the first responder world.  

Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, I call them Gremlins of my book,  the pitfalls of law enforcement, those green ones, you know, they attach to you and then they start growing,  you know, it's their isolation and then it's, you know, the toned of voice, you know, that  authoritative, tone comes home and you're like, whoa, I haven't, well, they were for doing it  months and one time, you know, he came home. I mean, this was like keeping with the department  for 18, 20 years before this happened, you know, but obviously, he didn't have a good day at day,  he worked and he got some, and, you know, I'm in the kitchen, I'm just talking to him and I,  I said, well, something about how is your day or whatever and he just looked at me, he could  just hand out, you know, that police stand, that's not what I'm saying, because I'll be with you in a minute,  that little grime needs to grow, okay, you need to take that grime on, you know, walk outside, come back in,  you know, let's, you know, take off that uniform and, you know, with Starkness all over again, you know,  so you, yeah, learn to accept and understand that, you know, it's not, I just,  every once in a while, I'm gonna take it personal, you know, like, oh, he's talking to me, you know,  he's, you know, this is personal to Vicki, you know, his wife and it really wasn't,  and I had to learn to understand that and accept it, but at the same time, when I say acceptance,  you know, not, not verbal abuse, you know, I'm right, but I'm gonna accept the fact that, oh,  he's gonna screw up sometimes and it's that ton of voice is gonna kind of home,  and so it's up to us as a couple to make sure that we balance that properly and excuse me.  And so, you know, I think as a police wife, that's one of my goals is to help that, especially then,  that new generation police wife that's happening right now, that younger generation, you know,  their, their officer is going through the training academy or the, you know, the first five years  that they've been with a department, you know, that is the passion that I have for,  that's the reason why I wrote the book the way I did his badge, my story,  which offers insights for spouses and loved ones of law enforcement officers, and I wrote it specifically  for that young, new police wife, I don't necessarily say, have to say, yeah, I mean,  brand new police wife, right, 


that, that really is trying to learn that balance between every basic society and the law enforcement world, which is very different, you know,  that again, like I said, that juxtaposition, you know, here I was, you know, working with brides, you know, the happiest thing in the world, then here he is doing a complete opposite, you know,  and so there's a lot of balance there, there's a lot of learning curves and a lot of understanding,  you know, I'm not the police wife, especially at the very beginning, I know our daughter,  what other reasons why I wrote his badge, my story is because our daughter became a police wife,  and she kept asking me all these questions, you know, it was like, what,  I can't remember all the questions, I can't remember all the questions, I was like, wow,  you know, I really did protect her from this world, you know, I kept, you know, I kept the good balance in her home, and, um, but she did some coping skills. 

I want to talk to you about you.  I want to know, do you feel like you're not getting the best out of yourself that you're struggling  in your close and personal relationships, you have that anxious and overwhelming feeling,  because your home life and your work life balance is out of sorts, do you feel like maybe you're  working on your mental health and it's just not going anywhere, you're not getting the results  you really want, I thought that myself before, and I want to help you with that, because I don't  want you to be stuck in that feeling, I know how that feels to, so I haven't offered for you.  You can reach out to me for a free 15 minute discovery call, no obligations, we just jump on  this phone chat for about 15 minutes and we try to figure out how to get you back on track and get the  life you deserve. You can do that by reaching out to me on my Instagram or on my Facebook page and  for the Instagram handle, it's Jerry Fire and Fuel or in during the badge podcast or you just go straight  to the website, in during the badge podcast, and there's a little coaching tab there and you can  book a call there. 

And so I just wanted to share my personal experiences with her and so I sat down  and wrote his fan to my story and so I wanted to make sure that I get all of the different  challenges that I went through and that she was going through, that were unique to her that  were also unique to me, so it was a good balance of the book and I called that worry and fear on David and Maine, it's the villain. It treats habit in your mind and it hangs out in the minds of  a law enforcement officer's wives and that unwelcome intruder or pauses anxiety and habit and all  kinds of different things. And it is as far as to watch your officer or your husband 11 of your life,  walk out the door, go from happy go looking, you know I used to say go happy and looking Jay  to serious sort of bus and unicorn, you know, I mean, my husband, Tommy, but his you know,  his draft on that last, you know, bell pro of his bulletproof vest, he's something, you know,  he would just completely change. And so, and then we would watch him walk at the door and we would be  fearful, you know, that fear of the unknown. And so, in last trouble with it as well, I think a lot of  police wives started with the villain, a worry and fear and the question that you asked me earlier,  what did I ever want him to change, you know, or change career paths or anything like that.  You know, I just had the learn how to cope. And so I had to learn to beat that villain. I had to  put that villain in jail. I had to learn how to do that. And the only way that I really knew how to do that  was just to let it go and let go on. Take care, you know, that was my solution was to let go and handle it.  He's in God's hands and everything's going to be just fine. And so we went through 42 years  may go, oh, I'm supposed to be worrying about that. I'm going to put that in God's hands,  I can't say so anyway, so yeah, 

I wanted to go back to something that you mentioned a couple times.  And that's, you know, how you're talking about how a person changes when they're putting on their  uniform, you know, like you're saying, putting on that last Velcro snap to like, you know,  maybe the belt holder. But I was thinking about this, and you're talking about it. I wonder what  the difference would be? There's like most apartments, a lot of people check on duty right from their  homes or they have a like, get in their car like around here. They know they drive 30 minutes to work.  They're already in their uniform and they leave their house. You know, I can under totally  understand why that happens. But I wonder if people would make a transition from home life to work  life and work life to home if they actually had to go to the station, change their and then,  you know, enter that kind of life work life thing. Right. 

Yes, absolutely. I think  do taking that physical uniform off, you know, doing that physical act is huge because I would just tell  my husband, you need to go be great, you know, you need to have your, you need to get out of that  uniform. And so if they could do that at the station, then they do have that time to  readjust to stop and think, oh my gosh, now I'm heading home. And so they have that 30 minutes or  that to 15 minutes or an hour, every long it takes to get from taking off that uniform to get home.  To adjust their mindset to home life because you know, that home voice, that family voice,  versus that police voice, you know, that and that's huge right there, just that ton of voice is huge,  you know, and at least it wasn't my house. I'm pretty sure it's that way most places.  I can imagine yes, yes, I can so too. I don't think that's the problem. Do you know,  so I do agree with you. I think that that would be very helpful. But if they are like my husband  was, you know, where they didn't change at the department, then, you know, I'm just encouraged  officers to, you know, once they do start the car to head home, that they start thinking about  their family and put that whatever last call they were on, whatever, you know, disagreement they  had with their superior, whatever, you know, whatever it was that is in their head,  whatever case they're working on that they, you know, have it solved yet, whatever it is that they could just,  you know, turn that key and, you know, just take a deep breath, say, with prayer and then head home.  And I think that their home life would be a lie if they would take that 10 to 30 minutes to do that.  Yeah, I'd finally get home. They would be, you know, in that mode. So this is great.  I've really got that question. 

Yeah, and here's an idea. I just come to me and I thought,  oh, this might be cool. It's like in your cruiser or how what are wrinkle you're in if you can  is like have that picture of your family and make it a habit to like, you know, flip down the  visor, look at your family picture or put that family picture somewhere in your car or something  that you can see that visual cue, you know, like, hey, I'm going home. Yeah, it's been a great  day. It's been a bad day, but I get to go home to my family today and, you know, start that visual  cue and start that habit of doing that. I think you would see a better transition between work  life and home life like when because it crosses over so much when you head home like you're  trying to unwind everything so fast to get into home life and it's, I don't really think it's  as possible as fast as we want it to be a lot of times. 

I agree. I totally agree. I think that's  a great idea. I love that. Just put that picture on your family up and just take a look at it and  all, you know, every time I read live, you know, stop and take a look. I'm head and home. I've got  three precious little kiddos that they've been buying at the lessons case, you know,  three precious little kiddos and a wife that loves it dearly, you know, waiting on him. And so  I think that that's, that's really the most important. At the end of the day, 42 years later,  you know, what does Jay have, you know, he has a family. Yeah. It's a real tact and we're in tact  because he worked hard to do that in his own way. He worked hard, you know, and when he even  started to stray and start to, you know, go a different direction than that wasn't great for our family.  You know, we've been having a chat, you know, what's that a little talk about that, you know, and  and, you know, let's remind ourselves of what's most important in that's family. Yeah. So yeah.  Now his retirement is all about, you know, his kids and his great kids and as well, I can  then, you know, life is great, you know, he's definitely had a great career and we're, we're  in bite-fated on gladiando as well a proof best. Yeah. And so anyways.  

Right. That's that's why you work so hard so you can  injure career the way you want to end it or leave it and, you know, have  the things that you work so hard for there for you, including your health to be there for  you seeking and enjoy them. That's right. 

Absolutely. Absolutely. At the end of the day,  you know, you've got your job as an officer, you know, you have your job, you have that badge,  you have that accordion, you have all of the challenges that go along with it, but the end of the day.  Whatever that day is, whether it's morning or afternoon or evening, but at the end of it,  you know, you know, take a look at your family because that's the most important, you know,  an already treating your family the way you should be. Right. I think that that is,  that it is a challenge for officers sometimes to treat their family with the love and compassion that they deserve because they are home supporting you and supporting the career that  career path that you chose in and at least in my case, you know. 


But they did have to be  a reminder. 

Yeah. Let's dive back down into that little villain that you talked about.  Like, let's talk about that little villain and how maybe as, you know, a police wife or a  police officer, how we could can deal with that villain. Right. 

Absolutely. Well, first we have to  recognize that we have that villain. Okay. That that villain is continually coming and  surfacing. Right. And so once we recognize that and we accept that, oh my gosh, I am struggling with  this. So I am struggling with the villain of wearing fear. And I need to confront that  and not to do that with the wrong anymore. And not should have coded it. And I think once we  recognize that we're fighting that villain, we're dealing with the villain of wearing fear,  then we can start coming up with solutions because we keep doing the same thing or whatever.  It's a spectacular result. If we see our president walk out the door and as soon as he walks  out the door, our heart starts racing and we start, we go to the computer with, you know, the police  wives, they have so many different today's society. You know, they have so many different ways to  follow their husband on, you know, um, well, he's at work, you know, that eight to 10 to 12-hour  debt shift that he's on. And then they're anxiety, they get on that social media and then they're  anxiety stirs, you know, skyrocketing when they start reading all the different things that other  police wives are going through. And you know, we are a tight-knit community, right? I mean,  police, you know, the police world is a tight-knit community. Yeah. And that comes with the cost as well.  And that cost is the anxiety that, um, that surfaces because of what we read, what we see,  what we hear, you know, some of those calls that our husbands are going on, you know,  and if we're listening to that and we've got that and that bill and services, we need to  make a change. We need to, you know, that's what I did. I mean, somebody tell me, oh, I need to listen,  at the very beginning, my husband's career, oh, I need to listen to the police scanner,  which was the only thing we had on the day. You know, my husband had a quarter to call  me, okay? You know, I'll just put it four to seven years, you know, we've been married almost  forty seven years and he was forty two years a long course, but so we didn't have cell phones back then,  at the beginning, but you know, that was a, you know, he listens to a scanner and I would say,  listen to the scanner, go like, oh, do you know, I got a life to live. I got a, you know, I can't,  I can't be living his life. You know, I need to be supporting him, not living it through him.  And I need to understand the career, I need to understand the job and I need to accept it.  And, but I don't need to live in it, you know, every single day and bring that villain  that can just, it can cause marriage problems, it can cause health problems for both of you,  you know, I mean, if you are an officer, you're spouse of struggling with this villain,  then, you know, we do really need to get it up, you know, you don't really need to have that conversation,  that strong conversation, what is this cause, when you're to have such anxiety when I walk out the door,  because I got this, you know, I, you know, my husband always said, everything's fine at the  life, so I even knock in the door, you know, so I'm worried about me unless somebody else is  knocking on the door and, you know, like a, a chat window or something. And so, as long as the  chat window and knock in my door, I just need to go through life, right? And, and God has this, you know,  and it's, it's God's mold, so I can't change it, that's the other thing. Because the police why we cannot change anxiety and worry is not going to change a thing. And we need to accept that,  so we just need to have a home life that is healthy and happy and something that you want your spouse to come home to and not an exhausted wife that can't sleep because she's worried about her husband. 

Yeah, she just mentally worked as hard as or harder than he did by following all those calls and stuff like that and trying to be so connected. 

Right, absolutely. And, you know,  it's a double-edge sword. I mean, there are wives out there that love that and then thrive on that.  And there's, you know, but they're not dealing with anxiety. If that's the wife, the kind of wife  that she is, you know, I mean, I'm not saying every wife is going to, you know, have that anxiety.  But if you are having that anxiety, from worrying about your husband's daily, you know,  12-hour shift, then you need to make the change and do other things to keep you in mind,  you know, in the future. 

Yeah. Yeah. I just like in my own personal relationship with my wife,  you know, you can enable like trackers on your phone or share your locations or whatever.  There's a certain time and place for that. Don't get me wrong. But if I have that on her,  she had that on me. That would create a whole other thing's different sort of anxiety for me.  Not that I would be doing anything wrong or want to like to expect her to be doing anything  wrong and at all. It was just like, why would I want to check that? When I just want her to have  the freedom to go do what she needs to do and do I need to know everything that she's doing  and when she's there and why and everything like that, I would be exhausted.  And yeah. And it's a two way street. There, you know, why this is also doing that following this  fast and an officer around in their whatever technology that they're choosing to use.  Who are there so many in there? Yeah. So that I can't even keep up. No wonder why what to?  Right. I was into a stand up for about a week and I was like, over. 

Yeah.  Yeah. I thought that's not my job. You know, so I think that it is important that you have  a line of communication open though so that you so that the wife doesn't worry about the fear  of the unknown. Right. So if you're not that you need to share everything with your wife and  you're wrong, but you need to share enough information so that she can put that villain  arrest. I think that is important as well. Otherwise that I have a great imagination.  You know, in my imagination would be sometimes more harmful than, you know, the reality, you know,  oh, you just wouldn't, you know, his domestic dispute that being went on, you know, was nothing  compared to what high imagination was, right? 


Yeah. So anyway, so you really need to have that  line of communication open with your spouse and the young and a partner together. I think that's  really it in the nutshell. You're on this journey as a couple and whatever your spouse is doing,  like in my case, I was a, I own my businesses and I, you know, I had my own career path  and I was not supposed to be very supportive of that and then I was very supportive of what he did  and when they'd understand each other's jobs and respect that more so than try to be part of it,  you know, trying to live your IQously through the scanner or whatever it is, you know,  which just caused a bit of a long-term circumstance. 

Yeah. And talking about anxiety and  all that and I'd get that this part of life and some people suffer from it more than others  and some anxieties, not necessarily a bad thing in your life. But I mean, I would understand,  like, you know, if a critical call comes out, you know, and you're dealing with something,  right, to send a message, say, hey, I'm okay. I'll call you when I can't. Like that.  That for me, I think when I do that for my wife, like she's like, okay, you're okay. I don't  need to worry about it. You'll call, you know, when you have time when things permit.  Right. 

That's a respectful call. That's a respectful text, right? You're, you're respecting  the situation and you're giving, giving your wife that information that she can, you know,  say, okay, I got this. You know, so I quit prayer and move on, you know, and I think that's a  board. 

Yeah. But you have to set those things up prior to them happening, like early on,  or if you're not, maybe not, maybe it doesn't have to be early on. Maybe just set them up now  because what it may be what you've been doing hasn't been working. That's right. 

That's right. Absolutely.  Yeah. I think that every couple is different, right? Every, you know, every couple has their own challenges  and they need to figure out what works for men. What works for my husband and I may not work for them.  It might be, you know, a different path that they need to go down as far as the communication is just  key. Don't, don't shut your wife out. You know, as an officer, don't shut your wife out  from being a part of the law enforcement community, help them to understand that. And, you know,  I think as a police wife, one of the things, one of the challenges that I've got to pick up with  a challenge, but the acceptance, I want to help police wives come to a place of acceptance  because once they can accept the job description, once they can accept that we are going to have  some of those worries and fears and we do need a battle with that villain and we do need to  learn how to put it to rest in that type of thing. And we do need to accept some of the  grimmelons that I call, you know, those pitfalls of law enforcement, we do need to work with them  and set up against them. You know, what's become to that place of acceptance and including those  scheduling issues and, you know, and that type of thing, you know, we cannot change the way the law  enforcement community works, right? Right. We can't change that, you know, if they're scheduled to work  on Christmas day, they're scheduled to work on Christmas day and you can get angry on you want to,  but why just become to a place of acceptance and let it be, you know, and your life with your officer will  be so much more calm and so much better once you accept the change that things you can't change  in this law enforcement community. And so I don't know if that makes sense. 

it did and I like,  you know, how you accept them any, any right, we all need to accept them because there's certain  things we can't change about our jobs, but we can adapt, right? You can adapt as a, as a  police officer's wife, like, oh, he has to work Christmas. So we're going to celebrate Christmas this  way on this day or maybe before he goes to work, like, you have to adapt it and pivot. You can  still have the special moments. They're just going to be a little bit different, maybe than the  traditional people, you know, that have those moments, but sometimes that's good and bad, like that's,  I like sometimes that's great. So like get up early with your kids and have it and, you know, be  able to go to work and, you know, or have it later in the evening just make different different  memories, different ways. 

That's right, absolutely. When your kids are little, they don't know  the difference. Right. They don't know, they can't read the clock. You know, they don't know what  time it is, so they don't, you know, if they're a little bit of, you know, oh, it's Christmas day and,  you know, my husband's working, you know, well, you know what? Just make a switch and work with it instead  of against it. You know, whenever that looks like to your family and, um, and playing for it,  but also come up with contingency plans because I wrote an entire, I wrote an entire chapter called  Blue Christmas because I has been, you know, homicide detected at the time and he was the officer  or call and he told me, you know, he told me he said, well, you know, I'm going to be all called,  have I ever, you know, don't expect anything too, you know, I don't know what he said, but he went  and he was going to be home for the holidays and Christmas Eve there was actually, I call it the  triple homicide but it was actually four people died by the hate in one man and so I didn't see him  for 72 hours, you know, he came home and put his head on the pillow six hours or four hours later  and got up and went back to work and all of the, so all of my Christmas changed. 


And so,  you know, I had to, you know, that was my learning curve, you know, that was when I learned that, oh,  exactly what you're talking about, I needed to accept it and write it first I didn't write it first, I was angry.  


Those angry at that, that's incredible. You ruined my Christmas. Right, 


But then Norman Brockwell picture, you know, didn't last long and so anyway, so you do have to come to a place  of acceptance and sometimes you have to go through the experience like in my case, I didn't go through that experience to go, oh, you know, I cannot change this. This is just the way, you know, this is just the way  this group path, it's going to take us and I'm so I just need to get on the roller coaster ride and just  hang on tight and so yeah. So I did forever. It's not what it means. What you must have  been doing something right, you know, or a lot of things right, you know, to last a police career  and being married for so long. Yeah, every way of things will people celebrate our 47th wedding  anniversary. That's also my bottle. Yeah, that is, and these days, and these are 46.  46. But 46, 46, what do you mean? 

So many now, it doesn't even matter.  

So many, 

how did you learn to become so strong independent and then just brave through these times?  

That is a great question. I think trial and error of a forestarter and I believe that  as a police wife, that's where we need to be, where we need to be strong independent and  brave enough to handle whatever it is that comes into front of us. Because in this long,  poor woman world, there is a lot of sadness, you know, there's a lot of victims that  that your husband will come on tell you about. There's a lot of sadness and there's a lot of  you know, an officers that, you know, pay the ultimate sacrifice. You know, there's a lot of sadness  that happens in law enforcement. And in order for me to be able to handle that, I did have to  become independent strong and bright enough to handle it. And I think a lot of it is experience and  a lot of it is determination. I, in early on in my husband's career, you know, I learned that,  you know, divorce rate was over 50%. And I was determined that I was not going to let that  match, you know, destroy our marriage. And he was determined not to let that destroy the marriage.  And so we came in with this, with their eyes and my open and instead of our eyes have closed.  And I think that's huge. 


And but, you know, how did I become independent strong and bright enough?  I think it just, just one day at a time, you know, and they were ties when I was not.  You know, for the most part, I became that because, you know, I was juggling three kids.  I was juggling my husband's law enforcement career. All the different changes, the never-ending  schedule changes, you know, that, you know, he'd say he's working eight to five in the  nature of Friday. And then, oh, no, I've got to go do this. I've got to go do that. I've got to,  you know, there is no way to find the nature of Friday. You've never had spin, you know,  you know, if you came a joke after a while. Right. 


It's a big job. 


I didn't want to belong over that, you know,  whatever the ship schedule that he had at the time, you know, was never what it really was. And so  I had to learn to just be independent and not wait on him and not expect him to,  to be home in a certain hour because if he's on a call, you know, I had to learn to accept that.  And so I had to learn to, oh, he's home. He's here. And that's great. But I had to do it on my own.  I had to learn to accept the do things on my own. 

Yeah. Sounds like there was a lot of  adapting pivoting to different things, you know, that was going on and just, and a lot of  self reflection, that sounds like you were doing a lot of self reflection on how did I handle that?  How did I, how did that go and what could I do better? Was that true?  

You know, looking back, I probably did do a lot of that and ever analyzed it that way. But yeah,  absolutely, you know, self reflection, you know, and things aren't going to direction that you  wanted to go, you have to stop and think, what am I doing? You know, put putting the blame  100% on your husband or 100% on that law enforcement career, if it is, you know,  take a serious look at where, you know, what role are you playing in that? And, you know,  there were times when I was like, oh my gosh, you know, I mean, like a chain tier because this is  not working and I can't, you know, as much as I want to blame it on that shift schedule or  like, blame it on whatever it was he brought home that day that grim one that, you know,  that I've been to prove she, you know, whatever it was, you know, I had to take a look and say,  you know what, I got to be better in this or I got to work harder on that and that respect.  And I never had a last at that one, Jared. So yeah, I did do that.  Melody, there's a bit. And I've put a lot of faith in God. You know, I did keep myself  grounded in scripture and grounded in, you know, kept ourselves kept our family and  church, you know, I could not, I don't know how people go through the life without  Jesus Christ in their hearts. So yeah, part of it too.  

Yeah, it definitely have to have some belief in a higher power.  It's really, really tough if you don't. 

Yes, yes. And in my case, I need a lot.  


A lot of Jesus, but I can just put some, you know, in here, I'm going to  take take the ball for him. 


You know, I'm about to have a good on my own. There's a lot.  

Sure, sure. In your book, like, what are like, this is going to be a really tough question for you,  in your book. Like, what do you want the police officers, why have to get out of this or a person  that reads this? 

Well, I think that there were a couple of things that came up to me when I was  thinking about, you know, our conversation today. And one of them is there's a couple of different  things. And one of them, I wanted our police wife to recognize that we need a lot of harder hard.  So, I don't think we talked about that yet. But, you know, we need to learn the harder  hard, because we don't have hard to know what he else will. And, you know, I mentioned that,  you know, there's a lot of pain and sadness and suffering that goes on in the law enforcement community.  And how do we do that? How do we guard our heart from that? How do we protect our heart from that?  And how do we protect our hearts from the everyday society and that type of thing?  You know, right now the war against police officers. And, you know,  when you walk in a room and, you know, it's so interesting. Just let, you know, police wives that  happened, you know, years and years ago too, you know, we say that the police officer and the  girl takes a step back, you know, literally takes a physical step back, you know, once that  away from you, because I don't know that a handle that question that answer. What's a sure  has to do for living? You know, and that's a rejection, that's an ice loop, you know, that's a,  you know, so there's a lot of guarding in the heart. You have to learn how to do that.  So I think that's one of the things that I want to police wives to gain from reading my book,  because that is so important. And then again, we talked a lot about the villain of worrying fear  and how that villain, you know, we let me, you know, understand it and you need to learn to accept it  and we need to learn to learn how to win the battles of a villain of worrying fear. And then that  balancing act, you know, there's a whole chapter in my book called The Balancing Act and sometimes  you feel like you're a police officer, that you're standing on this balance being and you're trying  to juggle a tri-copy and donuts in one hand, which is, you know, for your best friends and your mom  and your siblings and, you know, your co-workers and then you're a tri-copy, a tri-copy donuts in one hand.  That's the opposite, let's be kind of said that backwards, didn't I? 


tri-copy and donuts,  which is the officer, which is a law enforcement community, I'm so sorry I'm excited.  The law enforcement community and then the tri-cop of drinks and or durs and the other  man, which is your friends and your family and all that and you're stepping the middle and  neither one of them want to talk to each other, right? Your officer doesn't want to talk to them,  they don't want to talk to your officer and so you're stuck in the middle on that. Sometimes  that's how you feel as a police officer. And so I want to give them the tools that they need to  be able to learn to do that balance and act, staying on that balance being doing those  acrobatic tricks. I'll definitely try to know what to do. 

Yeah, yeah.  

Because we start doing something falling off and finding the divorce word in their lifestyle.  Definitely. And of course, and then the acceptance and then just becoming that independent  strong brave enough woman, that's the goal as far as what this book offer.  It through storyline, through the experiences that I have as a police wife and just know that they're  not alone, that they are experiencing although that it may be different because it's,  they don't have to have a court. Your husband's been having to have a quarter or any more to call home.  You know, how often did that happen? Very often. So your experience may be a little bit different  where you're, you know, that villain worry and fear might surface really quickly if he doesn't  text you back where I had an A-Gar or that A-Gar or a day before, you know, before he would  not call me back with the quarter, you know, that type of thing. So, but the experiences and  just wanted that they can do this, that there are many, many couples in this law enforcement community that are still together and that have a great marriage and have a great family wife  and that they can't balance this. And I think that's what I really wanted them to gain from  me writing this book. 

Yeah, and you're doing something special in the month of February or is it  with your book? 

Yes, absolutely. Yeah, starting February 1st, I'm going to make  make it where if you want to start your own book club, then all you have to pay for is the shipping  and that's a $4 shipping charge. And you have to buy minimum of three books. So I have  many cows you want to get together to police why do you want to get together whether it's a zoom  call or in your own living room or whatever it is and starting February 1st, all you have to do is  pay for shipping. I'm going to, I'm going to donate the books for these wives that want to do that  and then we will set up a zoom call where we can do a meet, greet the author, you know,  have questions that they can ask the author as they go through their book club and I think that  would be really fun to get to meet some of these police wives and then I do have a podcast myself,  Jerry, it's insights from the heart podcast and that is also a compliment where to the books.  So as they're going through the books, love they can go through the book that they can  listen to that podcast for the first couple of chapters and kind of get the insights from the author  as well and so I'm really doing what I can starting them up at Bibi Worry and giving the wives an  opportunity to gather together because I think they need to support each other. I think this is a  great way to do that and this is my way supporting their efforts to help to give them insight and  understanding of what's in store for them. 


yeah, what they're doing is like. Right, I think that's  awesome. They're going to jump on Zemin, fill some questions and stuff like that. That's that's  pretty incredible of you to do. Oh, well, thank you. I'm excited to be able to do that on our  have one book club that's already getting ready to start. They're doing his badge my story next.  They're next book club and I think that's really exciting. That was one of the, that was like the  inspiration for me to, oh, that's what I need to do. That would be awesome. So then that just, and we  at last year, at the end of the year, we'll August, I don't know if I mentioned it, but we went on that tour.  We went through Texas, the California, the Oregon and the back, through Colorado and back,  it was so much fun and with the grace of sponsors, we ended up donating and touching the light  of what we're 200 police wives and many officers were there too as well. So that was really cool.  That was a fun thing to do. I was very exhausting by the way. Yeah. I think I was right after that.  Okay, all when I was like, oh my gosh, then it's giving us coming and now the Christmas and  you know, that was like, Jay, we're in the world. 

Yeah, yeah. So anyway. Where else can people find you  and reach out to you and also buy the book? 

Oh, thank you. They can buy the book through my website at  L. E. O. W. and they can also do the book club starting February 1st, just not  up yet. They can't click on that yet, but it will be the next couple of days. I hope. And then they  can also find the book on Amazon or any other places that you purchase the book. You can also get the  book and go through that, you know, if you like. Do the ebook. You can do that as well. So, so L. E O W  where you can also email me at L. E O W Insight at So. Okay. And they can name. 

Yeah. It's  right. Where can they find you on social media? 

Oh, yes. On social media. I have Facebook page,  L. E O W Insight. There you go. And then also on Instagram at L. E O W Insight. I think  as L. E O W Insight, Ash and Dickie, the stops and Instagram. So, you can finally add,  all you have to do is look for that. And you can also google his fan to my story and it will redirect  you to my website. If you cannot remember L. E O W Insight. So, 

that's awesome. Well, thank you,  Vicki so much for being on today and sharing, you know, your personal story about being a police officer  white and wife and being able to give back to that community with your book. 

Oh, it's been such a pleasure  Jerry. I had lots of fun. 

Me too. 

I wish you and God bless. Please, why I'm down there in your  officers and the off-state saying thank you so much. 

Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to  rate and review the show wherever you access your podcast. If you know someone that would be  great on the show, please get a hold of our host, Jerry Dean Lund, do the Instagram handles,  at Jerry Fire and Fuel or at Enduring the Badge podcast. Also, by visiting the show's website,  Enduring the Badge for additional methods of contact and up-to-date information regarding show.  Remember, the views and opinions expressed during the show, solely represent those of our host  and the current episodes.