Monday, January 2, 2012

Gut Feeling

Dear My Followers,
I am so sorry for my slacking. I have a few excuses lined up to dish out...mainly my 4 year old and 2 year old, my 4 month old german shorthair, my 6 year old lab, my husband, hunting season, Christmas preparations, and did I mention hunting season?  I've been bad about posting. It is a new year, and my ambitions are high. I think I will try to add maybe a "Photo of the Day" section to this blog, starting with this one (Maple: age 4 months):

I have a few tales from this hunting season I can't wait to tell you about....

However, since reading the story last night, my mind has been with Mt Ranier National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson and her family. We are often notified via email regarding law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, but for some reason this one hits home. Maybe it is because she is about my age, with two children who are the ages of my two children.

Every time I think of the events that must have taken place yesterday morning, I find myself wearing her boots and sitting in her patrol vehicle. Would I have realized the potential danger? Honestly, I don't think so. So many times we, as officers, take our safety for granted more than we should. I think this problem runs deeper for fish and game officers and park rangers. Most people we run into are decent people. Most of the time people are compliant. Unfortunately it only takes one.

Today while on patrol, I thought of Margaret and what must have been going through her mind as she set up her vehicle for a road block. Did she see the vehicle coming toward her? Did the hair on the back of her neck stand up?

I thought of her children. Did they watch their mommy get her uniform on that morning? Did they tell her they loved her? Did she tell them?

I thought of her husband. Did he hear the radio traffic? Did he hear his wife's call for help? Were his first thoughts about her or their children?

If only there was something to say to make sense out of it. There isn't. At least I can't think of anything. She should have finished our her shift. She should have gone home to her kids to make them macaroni and cheese for supper. She should have spent the first night of the new year in bed with her husband. She was a mom, and a ranger, and a wife, and it she shouldn't have been stolen from her family and ours by her random encounter with a desperate armed man.

I don't get it. And I can't stop thinking about it. All I know is that from now on I will follow my gut: no vehicle stop I make will be "routine", no person I encounter will be harmless, and every time I leave for work I will remind my daughter and son that no matter what, I love them more than they will ever know.


  1. My sincere condolences to Margaret's family and to the men and women who serve our communities; from the highways to the cities and our precious lands.
    And welcome back...we missed you.

  2. I heard about this from a friend who is a park ranger near the Indiana Dunes. I was shocked to hear this and very saddened by it. RIP Margaret and my prayers are with her family.

    I thought the same thoughts that you did on the subject. It makes me appreciate my family even more

  3. First off, welcome back, I sure have missed your posts and insight. Now, I will freely admit, that as I read the story about Ranger Margaret Anderson losing her life, and, that she had a family with two little ones, I immediately thought of you and how you would respond to this. Thanks for sharing. I know it must be very difficult for you as it is so "close to home". God Bless, Margaret and her family! In addition, God Bless You for all that you do to keep our outdoor areas safe.

  4. I also believe I take my safety for granted. Since I don't wear a uniform I don't feel like a target. However, we must all remember that if you are a LEO, you are a target and must always be aware of the possibilities. My heart goes out to her family, friends and coworkers.

  5. My thoughts are with you and were with you when I heard this news. Stay safe and vigilant and know the prayers of all Law Enforcement are with you and the National Park Service at this time.

  6. Welcome back. Sounds like you've had a busy couple of months.

    Good resolutions for the new year. It's hard to maintain that edge every day but it's critical. In a past life I worked for a Lieutenant who constantly drilled us on these basic routine stops and interactions. It was a PITA but it helped stave off complacency. That said, this was an act of a mad man.

    Stay safe out there.

  7. Glad to see you back.

    I too was saddened to read of the death of Park Ranger Anderson. Enranged might be a better word. I also wondered if her husband heard her on the radio :-(

    Be Safe, and keep posting in the new year - women like me love to read about women like you! LOL

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