To our friends.
We have all been affected by the current issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the measures that have been taken to reduce its spread. We want to let you know a few things. First, none of the services that we offer to our law enforcement community have been disrupted by COVID-19. We have taken appropriate precautions and will continue to fulfill our duties to the best of our ability into the foreseeable future. However, due to the ongoing public health crisis and the moratorium established by the State of Washington and the King County Health District as well as the recommendations published by the CDC, Behind the Badge Foundation has no other alternative than to cancel and/or re-schedule all events and trainings through April.
- GR/IN Critical Incident Stress Management, March 16-18, Bellingham Rescheduled Fall
- Northwest Region Honor Guard Training, March 23-26, Yakima Reschedule October
- 22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction, April 4, SeaTac – Possible Reschedule, May 9
- Fun with the Fuzz 5K, April 18, Bellingham – Canceled
We are working on rescheduling both of these trainings. Please look forward to them in the early fall.
22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction
We have always seen the WSLEM Ball and Auction as an event not only to Fundraise but to also “Friend-raise”. For 22 years our supporters and friends from all over the region have come together to honor those that have gone before us and to be with each other in fellowship and celebrate the life and achievements of law enforcement officers and their families. This year we believed this celebration was especially necessary; emergency service workers are always on the front line in advance of the rest of the community when faced with the unknown or impending peril. We had hoped that we would be able to provide respite from the current crisis. When April cancellation became apparent, our committee worked very hard to come up with an alternate date. As of today, there is a possibility we will be capable of rescheduling for May 9th at our host hotel the Seattle Airport Hilton. This is dependent on several factors including the availability of certain vendors as well as updated health advisories. Starting next week, we will be reaching out to every registered attendee and sponsor to process refunds and returns should you not be able to attend.
Fun with the Fuzz 5K
Due to the enormous undertaking, Fun with the Fuzz 5k in Bellingham will not be rescheduled at this time. This event, like the WSLEM Ball and Auction, has a substantial following and we understand the disappointment of all our attendees on the cancellation of this substantial fun run. Information on refunds will be forthcoming.
I would like to take a moment and recognize the efforts and all the hard work done by our volunteers for both 22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction and Fun with the Fuzz 5K. Both committees have worked tirelessly over the last 7 months to produce quality fun events with a purpose. To say this is a labor of love would be an understatement. Our existence and many of the broad range of services we are able to provide are available because of good hearted volunteer committee members.
We are keeping a close eye on the ongoing statistical information and the messaging coming from our governing officials and our health officials. In the next several days we will be examining that information along with our May calendar which also includes a Peace Officers Memorial/Medal of Honor on May 8th in Olympia as well as National Police Week in Washington DC.
In closing, we would like to thank all our emergency responders and our support entities within those agencies. Law enforcement officers, correctional officers, life safety firefighters, paramedics, physicians, nurses, dispatchers, support and administrative staff and so many others; we know that you don’t have the option to stay home. We know that you are working hard and that you continue to put yourselves at risk day in and day out. Know that we are forever in your debt.
In the coming days we will attempt to keep you informed and up to date as to our current status.
CHANGED TO MAY 9
that in an unprecedented time of rapid change and so many unknowns, we thought
it helpful to share with you some of the questions we have either posed ourselves
or been asked over the last few weeks about this event.
restrictions on events/groups have been extended through April 8th.
Date Change May 9th
diligently with our host hotel and other vendors to move the date of the 22nd
Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction to May 9th.
The previously listed event schedule will remain in place for the weekend of
What happens to my ticket?
To ensure the
most thorough accounting and customer service, the Ball and Auction Committee
will be reaching out to ticket holders initially through email. You may also
receive individual contact by telephone. New tickets will be reissued. If you
are not able to join us on the new date, we will be process refunds in the
coming weeks. Expect to hear from someone during the week few weeks.
need to contact the Seattle Airport Hilton in reference to your accommodations.
We have been
able to create a block of rooms for the new date. Please contact the Seattle
Airport Hilton Hotel directly to update your reservations. We do not have the
ability to cancel, change or modify any individuals or groups reservations. You
may reach the hotel at 206 244-4800 with the new reservation code LAWX20. Or you
may book a new reservation online https://book.passkey.com/go/badge.
I see other
organizations running online auctions and/or other solutions. Why not adapt the
felt very strongly about preserving this event exactly as it is. They have
found the perfect balance of fundraising while honoring the officers we have
lost and did not want either half to get muddled in a new event.
What is the
financial impact on Behind the Badge Foundation?
Like you we
are concerned about our organizational financial future. We rely on events like
the Ball and Auction to help fund vital programs and initiatives across the
entire Foundation. We also rely on these events to connect with the people that
we serve and the people that who continually support us. While this this
pandemic will significantly change manner in which we work in the short term,
our pledge is that we will continue to support our Law Enforcement officers,
families and agencies, especially in their time of need, to the fullest extent.
If you do not
see the answer to your question, please refer your questions to event director
Kevin Haistings firstname.lastname@example.org and Tracy! at email@example.com for more answers.
Being fatherless at any time can be tough. But it’s interesting how a commercially-driven calendar event can hammer home feelings that may otherwise remain under the surface.
Greeting cards, TV ads and social media feeds tell us how we’re supposed to feel on Father’s Day. Happiness. Celebration. Togetherness. But if you’ve lost your father or you’re a father who’s lost a child, you might not be spending the day playing catch or wrapping up ties and socks. Instead, Father’s Day can be a harsh reminder of your grief.
When you’ve lost your father
As Father’s Day approaches, lots of people make plans to spend time with their father. Some families will meet up for a BBQ, others may decide to go camping and some will pay a visit to spend time with their dad. For those who are lucky enough to still have their fathers in their life, it can be a great day. But if your father has passed away, the day can be really hard.
Father’s Day can bring up a lot of feelings. Whether you’re young or old, single or married, a parent or not, losing your father is one of the most emotional experiences you’ll ever go through. Or you may have lost your father-in-law, grandfather or other father figure in your life.
If you’re struggling with grief this Father’s Day, know that you’re not alone. Here are some things you can do to help make coping with the day a little easier.
- Compile your memories. What are your first memories of your father? What are you grateful for? Ask your family for their memories too. Write them down.
- Take some quiet time. Carve out some time for peace and quiet. Don’t force your thoughts or emotions. Just observe them, letting them come and go as they will. Let yourself enjoy a moment of peace.
- Write a letter. Take the time to write some words to your father. Think about a favourite time. Recall an important life lesson he left you with. Pour out your feelings on paper or in front of the computer and be honest about everything you’re feeling.
- Pay tribute. Do an activity your dad loved. Eat his favourite meal. Visit that special place you used to go to together. Remembering times spent together can help you cope with the day.
- Make plans. Try planning an activity or schedule some quality time with family and friends. Staying busy can help you make it through the day.
- Ask for help. If you start to feel overwhelmed by sadness and grief, reach out to a family member, friend or counsellor. Help and support can make all the difference.
When you’ve lost a child
Losing a child is one of the most devastating types of losses anyone can experience. No parent expects to outlive their children. It feels unnatural and wrong. Grieving the loss of a child is an experience that colours the rest of a parent’s life. You can’t escape it and on days like Father’s Day, the grief may seem too much to handle. Time won’t heal the hurt, but it will become more bearable.
For a father, facing Father’s Day after the loss of a child can be extremely upsetting. This is especially true when the loss is new, but the pain of the day may continue year after year. If you’re grieving the loss of your child, here are some tips to help you get through the day.
- Spend time with your kids. If you have other children, spend the day with them. It may hurt to be with them and without the child you have lost, but finding joy in the children still with you is a powerful way to cope with those negative emotions of loss.
- Surround yourself with loved ones. You may want to hide away and be alone, but resist the urge. Spending time with people who care about you will be more helpful.
- Keep busy. Living in a state of distraction from your grief is not necessarily healthy, but on difficult days like Father’s Day it can help.
- Remember you’re still a father. Just because you’ve lost a child doesn’t mean that you’re not still a father to them. Never forget that. You are your child’s father forever.
When kids lose their dad
Father’s Day is often a challenging time for children who have suffered a loss in their life. If you’re supporting a child who has lost their father, grandfather or a father figure, use Father’s Day to help them learn more about who the person was in life.
- Talk about their Dad. Father’s Day is a great time to talk about the person they’ve lost. Share happy thoughts. Discuss good times. It will help ensure their father remains a real presence in their lives.
- Listen and validate. It’s important for children to learn how to express grief and adults need to validate their feelings. Help them communicate their feelings and remind them it’s OK to feel sad, mad, afraid, confused or lonely. And help them realise that it’s because of great love that we grieve in the first place.
- Make a memory box. Put keepsakes and other special items into a box. Tangible, visible items can help children feel connected to the person who has gone. It can be pulled out and cherished year round on birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions.
- Create a scrapbook or photo album. Young children may not have a large bank of memories of their dad. Family photos and keepsakes can help them remember and reflect on the good times. Having a scrapbook or photo album in memory of their father is a great way to keep memories alive.
- Build a memorial website. If you’re feeling high tech, you can build a website with pictures, stories, videos and other memories. Depending on your age and the age of your children, they may be 100% better at the project than you!
Supporting others through the day
While you may not have experienced the loss of your father, some of your friends may have. There are lots of things you can do to reach out and make their day a little brighter. Here are some ideas.
- Send a card or make a call. It’s a small gesture that means so much. All you need to do is remind them that you’re thinking of them.
- Be a source of comfort. Be there to listen to them and provide support.
- Avoid platitudes. Don’t try to rush your friend through the process of grief. This only invalidates what they’re feeling. Be patient.
- Be mindful of their feelings. If they don’t feel up to visitors, you should understand and respect that. Offer them a rain check.
Treasure good memories
Fathers play an irreplaceable role in life. If you had a good dad, then Father’s Day can be sorrowful and maybe even bittersweet as you remember good times. If you had a more difficult relationship, the day can bring up feelings of loneliness and sadness. Or if you’re a father suffering the loss of a child, it can amplify those feelings of loss and bereavement.
Focus on what your father meant to you and what you learnt from him. What is your father’s legacy? Why was he important to you? And remember, Father’s Day is a special day for celebrating and remembering fathers, grandfathers and others, whether they’re living or not. Take advantage of the day.
Article From waltercarter.com
To some people it is just a name etched in stone…but to others it is the story of a loved one.
[Click here] to view video on King 5.
Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 10, and many of you are shopping for gifts for Mom. This is a great opportunity to support Behind the Badge Foundation and shop for mom. smile.amazon.com.
March 19 is the first day of spring. Planting a garden can be full of peace and healing…”You can “dig for victory” but I have discovered you can also dig for mental health. Creating a new garden by hand, working in step with nature and the seasons, has enabled me to unpack my feelings in a more deliberate way than I might otherwise have done. A garden forces emotional patience. Plants can’t be hurried but they have a definite constancy.” –Charlie Hart
3 WAYS GARDENING CHANGED MY OUTLOOK ON GRIEF
Digging through tears: how gardening helped me to grieve for my parents
Every holiday holds meaning. St. Patrick’s Day can be another day full of memories.
Here are a couple of articles that touch on remembering … always.
No Recipe for Grief
St. Patrick and the Green Grief Monster
Grief is one of the most feared emotions along the spectrum of being human. It is often ostracized instead of welcomed as an inevitable, human experience.
One of the isolating and difficult things about grief can be feeling like other people don’t get us or our multilayered feelings around our loss, especially as time goes on.
I recently posed this question on social media:
What do you wish the world understood about your grief?
I received the following 23 responses from humans who have lost young children, adult children, husbands, wives, mothers, or fathers to suicide, cancer, accidents and more.
- That it’s always there, and pretty close to the surface. And it’s weird because sometimes I want to talk about it and sometimes I don’t. I don’t expect anyone to know which way I’m feeling on any given day, but I want to be okay with the awkwardness and I want others to be okay with it too.
- That it’s harder and longer than I could have ever expected.
- I wish that people, especially family members, knew that grief is not a switch that you can just turn off because it’s time to move on. Yes, we try to move on because our loved one is resting in peace and we have the right to enjoy the rest of our life as much as we can. But, something triggers a memory and the grief is back. So, we need to work through it again. It’s easier said than done unfortunately.
- You miss the love that filled up that space.
- That it becomes your shadow. Forever present even when not visible to all eyes. Most of all to acknowledge that it’s okay to talk about it. And, no, you won’t remind me of it if you bring it up. My grief is who I am now. The new me. I wish that everyone was more comfortable with my grief. It reinforces the fact that I lost my beautiful daughter and that will never change.
- I don’t want their husbands. And being widowed is not contagious.
- It has changed the whole dynamics of our family and I am no longer the person I used to be. I’m not quite sure who I am any more.
- That it feels like an amputation and that it has no timetable.
- That there is no right or wrong way to grieve. That everyone’s timeline is different. That it will reopen many times throughout your life and you have to work through it again when it is retriggered, but this does not mean you are stuck or not getting on with your life.
- How heavy empty is.
- That watching my children grieve is almost worse than my husband’s death. That I wish there was more talk about older teenagers losing a parent and that their friends’ parents knew more about helping their kids support my girls during this terribly hard time.
- That it’s changed me in every way.
- I wish the world knew that my grief has touched every emotion from sadness, anger, guilt and unbearable heartache. In the early months I felt off balance, out of control and lost. With time I have forgiven myself and my father for his death by suicide. There are still days it all feels like a nightmare that I just can’t wake up from. The sorrow comes in waves, then subsides into acceptance. Sometimes worry and anxiety take over and I wonder how I can possibly survive the loss of another loved one.
- How bad it hurts.
- That it doesn’t go away. I always feel it. I am changed because of it. But I don’t think others feel comfortable knowing that I still hurt and that I always will. That I want to talk about how much I miss my mom, but I suck it up because I don’t think others feel comfortable with my grief. That it doesn’t mean I’m crazy or need “help.”
- That every new loss sets in motion a renewed loss of everyone else. Compounded with each loss.
- That it hurts like no other pain you can possibly describe and yet no other person will experience this. Because even though they will experience grief, their pain will be different. All grief is unique and individual like snowflakes. No two are the same. I wish it was talked about more. I wish it to be acceptable, that’s it’s okay to not be okay. I wish for all grievers to be heard and not tried to be fixed.
- That we don’t choose grief. The mind cannot turn off and on what the heart and soul feel just because “they” want the old you back.
- That it softens but it’s something I will carry with me the rest of my life.
- That they are the same as they always were and I am not. My life did not go on after my loss as theirs did. And my life will stay in this realm unknown to them forever. I would like them to know that they will never truly feel profound loss like this until it happens to them.
- That I will never stop grieving my losses.
- I wish people knew that the grief parents feel about their child with special needs is something they have to carry and honor and process their whole lives.
- That even a year later there are days where it hurts just as bad as it did the moment I found out; that even when the number of years reaches fifty, there will still be those crippling days.
When we humans trust our capacity to hold other humans, to let unfold and be told our deepest layers of humanity, rich with heartache and love, something powerful happens. In the pause before we reach for a way to fix someone, that moment where we choose to sit with what is uncomfortable and unfixable, we find a sweet spot of being human, where all that is required is showing up to listen, see, hold, and honor another person’s truth or pain.
There is an organization here in Washington that has been assisting the law enforcement community in Colorado during a particularly difficult month.
Behind the Badge, an organization supporting families and law enforcement that have lost someone in the line of duty, has spent the last month helping out in Colorado.
The Issaquah-based organization is preparing to respond to the shooting death of El Paso County Deputy Micah Flick.
“It’s really sad they’ve had three line of duty deaths in less than a month’s time. It’s just horrible,” said Vicky Stormo, the interim executive director that helps coordinate line of duty response teams.
“A group of volunteers to come forward they have different skill sets to help put the memorial together, work with the families as they go through grief, and work with law enforcement as they go through grief,” said Stormo.
Over the last month and a half, they’ve been helping out in Colorado.
“[Behind the Badge] helped them through the first one. We were consulting with them on the second one and we’re available to help them with the third one.”
Stormo says the work is necessary but tough.
“When you have a line of duty death response team you’re mourning yourself so the team is also exhausted.”
For Stormo showing up is not just about being there those in your backyard
“We’re a law enforcement community across the nation. It’s not just in each state or not just in a small community, there are impacts across the nation as well,” she said.
Behind the Badge Foundation supports families of fallen and injured law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers from across Western Washington and other parts of the country are expected to help lay Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney to rest tomorrow. Deputy McCartney was shot and killed earlier this month in the line of duty. Two suspects have been arrested.
Fellow deputies and police officers have carried on an around-the-clock watch over Deputy McCartney and will continue to do so until his funeral. And his family is not alone, either, thanks to friends, colleagues, and help from an organization called the Behind the Badge Foundation
The Foundation’s interim Executive Director, former UW Police Chief Vicky Stormo, shared more about what the organization does to help families of injured and fallen law enforcement officers.
Learn more about the Behind the Badge Foundation by visiting its website or Facebook page.
Memorial service details:
The public memorial service for Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney takes place tomorrow (Wednesday, January 17), at 1:00 pm at Pacific Lutheran University’s Olson Auditorium in Tacoma. More information about the processional route and public parking can be found at the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.
Help for Deputy McCartney’s family:
Donations can be made to the ‘Deputy Daniel McCartney Legacy Fund’ via PayPal by clicking on the orange “DONATE” button at the top of the page, or by visiting any TAPCO Credit Union location or TwinStarCredit Union. More information can be found at the Crime Stoppers of Tacoma and Pierce County’s website.