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My experience with "The Brotherhood"

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Posted about 7 years ago

 

First off, I am not an LEO. I have a brother and my best friend who are. And until Monday, my best friends little brother was too. Yesterday we laid Jason Norling to rest after he was killed by somone who hit him during a traffic stop. I won't go into that, as it's a sore subject with me, but I wanted to share my experience of my short time among the LEO brotherhood.

When my wife and I showed up at the church we saw that the local VFD had taken 2 of their ladder trucks to make an arch with an American flag suspended between them. It was very cool and very touching. We pulled into the parking lot and, following the instructions of the officers directing traffic, we proceeded to the rear of the church area. When we came to one point in the lot, we were stopped so some police cars could park. Little did I know that what appeared at the time was every cop car in the county was there. I lost count at about 100 cars. It was amazing - Pct 5 cars (all of them it seems), Pct 4, Pct 3, Harris County, DPS, and more. It took about 10 minutes for them to all file by.

The funeral itself was cool as well (to me) with all of the dignity and reverance that Jason deserved. I won't go into details, but it was a very nice, personal service for me - brought back lots of memories.

After the funeral, when it was time to take away my friend, it got really difficult to staunch the tears. The honor guard lead him out and the pall bearers all had very moist eyes. They had a bag-piper play "Amazing Grace" at one point. That was tough. The 21 gun salute and taps was hard to listen to as well. The final straw for me was the missing man formation flown by the HPD helicopter corps. I was bawling at this point. Not in sadness - though I was extremely sad for my friend and his family.

I was awed. That's the only word I can find to describe the emotion that was overwhelming me. Awe. The deep affection and sense of friendship that I saw there was something that I am not likely to ever forget. Officers that I was sure had never met Jason or his family were welcomed as openly as those that had known the Norlings for years. No one will EVER understand the brotherhood like a true LEO does - but I came VERY close to it yesterday. I will probably never see anything like that again - at least I hope I don't.

I have a new perspective on Law enforcement and a deeper respect for the badge and all that it stands for. While I will never be part of the brotherhood, I feel honored to, for at least a short time, have been allowed to join the family of LEOs in grieving a fallen hero, a lost husband, a friend no longer with us. It was, and will be, the most awe-inspiring moment that I will ever (and hope to ever) have the priviledge of attending.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity.

Joel Hopper

PROUD supporter of all Law Enforcement.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Thanks, Joel...you put into words what we feel at each and every funeral for a fallen officer. It does overwhelm you, when you hear Taps, and Amazing Grace played on the pipes. If you don't tear up a little bit, you are probably not paying much attention to that which is happening around you.

This coming Spring, In DC, Constable Norling's name will be added to the wall at the National Police Memorial. Honor Guards will stand by, and we will hear his name read as a tribute to his life.

As a motor officer, I will remember his name, and the names of the six other motor officers who died inthe line of duty this year. Thanks for taking the time to write your impressions for us.


"You can't lead from behind" Gen'l James Longstreet, CSA

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Doc, I have been to a few LEO funerals and many Soldiers here in Iraq. I cry at every damn one of them!!! Just the way it is. I'm not ashamed, afraid, or embarrassed. It hurts me to even read about a fallen Warrior/Protectors. You put into words what very few can. Kudos. My heart goes out to you and yours.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Joel it is awesome that you honor and loved your friend this way.

My prayers go out to ya! I will say a few extra ones.


Never Forget the members of public safety who have died and continue to suffer from past meth lab exposure!

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Joel, I am very sorry for your personal loss. Your posting was right on. Thanks, brother.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

DocHopper, I am so sorry for your loss. It is an awesome thing to see the response from LE. I have had so many survivors say they can't be;ieve the turn out and now understand why their loved one felt they had to respond to previous fallen officers. Please know that you, your family, Jason, and his family friends, and his family in blue will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

DocHopper, sorry for you loss....thanks for your posting and support

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Doc..thank you for that post. You gave a glimpse into the Brotherhood that some will never experience. I am sorry for your loss.......


"It would be better for one to have a stone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea, than to cause a child to stumble."

"Well-behaved women rarely make history"

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

DOC, ANOTHER THANK YOU FOR THE POST. I'M ALSO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. THIS BROTHERHOOD IS ALIVE AND VERY STRONG. IT'S A BOND THAT MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER EXPERIENCE AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU ARE FROM. I'M GLAD YOU GOT TO SEE FIRST HAND. I WISH OTHERS COULD SEE IT WITHOUT LOSING A BROTHER OR SISTER.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

DocHopper...Our depaertment recently had a brother pass away from cancer he had been with the department for several years...I was assigned the tasks of videoing the sevice at the chapel as well at the cemetery.....Like you said the Fire Dept was there along with EMS and officers from neighboring agencies....Like you I stood holding back the tears but when the Bag pipes played, and Taps were sounded and the 21 gun salute...my final straw was when they did final call on the radio......it is hard to video with tears rolling down your face.....I am just down the road from where Deputy Jason Norling worked...it hit close to home.....He will not be forgotten.....God Speed......

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

DocHopper...Our depaertment recently had a brother pass away from cancer he had been with the department for several years...I was assigned the tasks of videoing the sevice at the chapel as well at the cemetery.....Like you said the Fire Dept was there along with EMS and officers from neighboring agencies....Like you I stood holding back the tears but when the Bag pipes played, and Taps were sounded and the 21 gun salute...my final straw was when they did final call on the radio......it is hard to video with tears rolling down your face.....I am just down the road from where Deputy Jason Norling worked...it hit close to home.....He will not be forgotten.....God Speed......

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Sorry for double post my computer was not cooperating this morning

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

PC, I totally forgot about the final call. When I figured out what that was, I was very moved (as if I wasn't already!) Everyone that is in any way involved with Law Enforcement should be proud of the bond that is so very obviously apparent among the "brotherhood".

I think that if more people realized the feelings that you guys share for each other, the obvious caring you have for people like me, or the obvious respect for the law that you have, that there would more respect for LE than there is - at least on the part of those that aren't sure. Obviously there are some folks that just don't get society or it's rules and I fear there is no hope for them. It makes me glad you are there to protect my "young-uns" and family.

From the bottom of my heart - Thank you. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you for your expertise. Thank you for your caring. I can't thank you enough - there's not enough room in this post.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Doc sorry for your loss.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Very sorry for your loss bro. Every service is the same, yet every service is different, but the heartache is always there, pullin on us, pullin us, the thin blue line, together, it keeps us strong, keeps us going. Its, to me, the sadest part of our service that we provide to our country and communities.

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Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

I have to just say from personal experience being the surviving spouse of a LEO killed in the line of duty that there are few words to describe 'the brotherhood' of LE. I have many wonderful 'big brothers' from my husband's Team that I could not have gotten through things without their support. I feel very blessed that they are MY FAMILY! Even after the funeral -they have been there and I know they always will!

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

11-1-13


bump


The Guy !
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Honoring the Fallen

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

Never forgotten.....


Don't sweat the small stuff....you'll dehydrate

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

 Never Forgotten  BUMP 11/2/13


" The things you want are always possible: it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The onle real obstacle in your path to fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experiance" Les Brown

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

This just brought  a tear to my eye. RIP.


 


Continue to carry your friend's torch Doc, and don't let anyone for get their sacrifice.


"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. "

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

I attended a few Police funerals while on the job.All slain in the line of duty.One is way too many.It is something one never forgets.Yes,many cruisers in a town of half a million people,as well as officers attending from around the country.The brotherhood/sisterhood knows how to honor their fallen.I sometime wondered "Who's next".?Was and always will be proud of all of them.

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

In my career I have attended 30 to 35 fallen officer services.  The never get any easier.  Some of the Officers I knew and some I have never met. They were all just as hard to deal with.  There is no higher honor or priority in Law Enforcement  than to attend a fallen officers service.


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In Memory of the Fallen Officers

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