Preparing for the Unthinkable ( P2)
By Chief Tim McClung
Perkins Township (OH) Police Department
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.
Remember that in World War I, World War II and Korea more combatants are disabled by stress than were killed by the enemy. Later we will discuss Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in detail. One of the most important things we will learn is that the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the "bible" of psychiatry and psychology, states that PTSD is caused by "intense fear, helplessness or horror," in a life-and-death situation. By teaching your loved ones what to do at the moment of truth, not only do you save lives physically, but you can also save them from the trauma of fear, helplessness and horror in their moment of truth.
Denial kills you twice: once because you are physically unprepared at the moment of truth and might die in the incident; twice because you are psychologically unprepared and, even if you physically survive, you are likely to be a psychiatric casualty when your "house of cards" collapses. Denial kills you twice, and it can kill your loved ones twice. In the same way, preparation saves you twice, and it may save your loved ones twice.
My dad was a cop, he began his career on a beat and retired as the chief. He and my mother have both passed on and I would give anything to have another 20 minutes with them. My dad bought 20 extra years one day in a supermarket. He carried a gun nearly every day of his life, and he knew that if there were trouble my mom would grab him by his arm. So for a lifetime he always made sure she was on his left side. I almost never saw them together without my dad being on the right and my mom on his left.
One day as they shopped together in a supermarket, a man came around the corner of an aisle, saw my dad and pulled a gun. He was someone who dad had previously put in jail, and he was not a happy customer. As expected, my mom grabbed my dad's arm, his left arm. But his right hand was free and he pulled his gun. Then mom's training kicked in and she cut behind him and dashed off to call for help.
My dad resolved the situation... in a satisfactory manner. But I could have lost them both. I got an extra 20 years with them because my dad spent a lifetime preparing for that one day. Their grandbabies would have never known them if their grandpa had not been a warrior who carried a gun and walked the warrior's path for a lifetime in preparation for that one day.
Dr. Piazza puts it this way to all his students:
If you are feeling that maybe you should forget about carrying a gun or using a gun as a means of self defense because the responsibility and liability is too great, let me validate your awareness that you do face a great responsibility and huge potential liability. However, let me remind you that there is nothing in this world more valuable than your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Rudyard Kipling put it this way in a poem about the warriors, who he called, "The Sons of Martha":
They do not teach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose. They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop their jobs when they dam'-well choose. As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and desert they stand, Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's day may be long in the land
Can you do that? Can you walk the warrior's path for a lifetime, standing "wary and watchful" all your days to prepare for that one day that will buy your kids and your grandkids 20 extra years with you? You might even buy someone else's grandchildren 20 extra years with them, making your brethren's day "long in the land" because you were there and you were ready.
That is what warriors do.