Have you ever made an attempt to support a local organization? How did it go? Probably pretty good, right? Well, my experience was particularly different. This is a story about how one Amazon purchase and my attempt to Back the Blue backfired on me. This situation took place in July of 2016, but it has and will continue to resonate with me. Not because I can hold a grudge, but because I still can’t believe this guy took a stranger’s good deed and turned it into a neighborhood shit storm.
Back-story: In 2016, America saw a rise in police officer fatalities. 142, to be exact. One of the 142 was Officer David Hofer with the Euless Police Department in Texas – My hometown. Officer Harper was killed in the Line of Duty in March, following this was the tragedy in Dallas that took the lives of five more officers in July. These deaths hit home for me. We are fortunate to live in a very “military friendly” town, and it was time to return the generosity.
A little more back story: The neighborhood we live in uses an app called Nextdoor, it’s basically a Craigslist/Facebook for surrounding subdivisions with HOA’s. I totally recommend it, but only if you’re fully prepared to see good portions of your neighbors are dick heads.
This started when my surrounding neighborhoods rallied together to show support for the Moore Police Department in unity and were open to suggestions. One person said, blue light bulbs! Great idea, but the local hardware store was sold out.
Before this, I saw various Back the Blue and Thin Blue Line groups on Facebook selling black and white American flags with one line colored blue for law enforcement, or red for Fire personnel. These flags can be customized and purchased almost anywhere and are fairly common. I bought mine here, on Amazon.
I see the post on the Neighborhood app, and I’m happy to share that I bought my Back the Blue American Flag two days prior. Little did I know, I would soon make neighborhood history by “disrespecting the American flag” and “breaking Federal Laws.” I’ve said it before, but just to be clear – even in the hardest of times with the garbage circulating the internet, I make an honest effort to grasp opposing views. If I can’t wrap my mind around certain things, then I’ll bad mouth you in the privacy of my own home. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, and not on a neighborhood app.
What the hell is it with people and thinking their opinion must always be voiced? Or typed rather, in today’s society? With only one person brave enough to side with me, here is how the rest of it played out.
This man bothered me. For weeks. It wasn’t just some internet troll. This guy really got to me. He offended me beyond measure. I contemplated for a few days. I spoke to a retired SMSgt in the Air Force that I worked with, who now works in law enforcement as a civilian. I talked with a current Police Officer that I grew up around. I even considered calling the police department and the City of Moore for some feedback. I mean, he did have a point. Maybe this was a bad idea, and I’m in the wrong. Then I thought to myself… If I’m wrong, then someone needs to explain the 434 reviews and the four-star rating this item has on Amazon. No. No, I’m not wrong for this. Not this time.
I’m the woman with a homemade “Welcome Home” sign at the airport waiting to greet my husband. I’m the neighbor that has a dozen mini American Flags lining my garden and entryway for the better part of summer. I’m the one standing next to you at a sporting event with the only kids in sight that know what the National Anthem is and what to do when it comes on. My house is the one with a yellow ribbon on the front door. I’m the woman holding the door for the gentleman wearing the Veteran hat and then makes my five-year-old stand so he can sit in the waiting area at Chili’s. I’m the mom that joined my girlfriend in taking our kids to the police station with letters of appreciation, cakes, and cookies. I’m the mother that teaches her children to be respectful of police officers, firemen and women, and of course military personnel of any kid. I’m the lady thanking you for your service and paying for your coffee. And after this incident, I’m now the woman that didn’t tell this guy to piss off simply because he is a veteran.
I am not the woman that disregards and disrespects the American Flag, anyone, or anything that symbolizes my freedoms as an American. I am not the woman that “harasses” people online – don’t even get me started on the lady that made that comment. There’s months worth of material on her in that app.
I’m disappointed to say that because of this situation, I never hung my Back the Blue flag, partially because this man knew where I lived, (can’t underestimate anyone) and partially because we take our flag pole down during the winter months. If I walked away from this with nothing more than a story to laugh about later then, that’s fine with me.
At the end of the day, there’s no point in trying to explain yourself to people who can’t see beyond their level of perception. I’m a decent person not out of fear of going to hell or the reward of heaven, but because it just feels good to not be an asshole. Like that guy.