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When was the last time you watched the news? Did you notice how many stories there were involving vehicle collisions, wild fires, structure fires, or police action? There is the tendency to watch the stories with little-to-no thought or emotion. It’s someone else. Somewhere else. It doesn’t affect me. And yet, inside each of those stories there remains a constant: victims and

First Responders. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have been in one of those situations, you understand the traumatic, sometimes lasting effect they can have. Now imagine experiencing that repeatedly. The First Responders answer the call to danger and tragedy on a regular, if not daily basis.

The tragedy and the trauma and the emotional toll just keep piling up, but there’s still the job to do, the next call to respond to, the next shift to work. Most departments across the country are under-staffed. It’s just the nature of job. Stuff it down and deal with it later. The issue becomes when is “later”? How long must one wait before he can deal with it? Too often, “later” comes after a breaking point or at the expense of the First Responder’s personal well-being.

Thankfully, for twenty of our nation’s heroes, “later” was last week at the Men’s Legacy Program for First Responders. It was time, as the 10-66 radio code instructs, to check these officers’ well-being. Men from different police, Sheriff, and fire departments from all around the country with varying motives for attending assembled at picturesque SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel on the Central Coast of California.

It took very little time for these Warriors to bond in Brotherhood and begin the process of aligning their lives to the life they were created to live.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

The burdens and weight of years of Public Safety service were shed and shared. Tools to promote healing and preserve longevity were presented by the instructors and plans were created to go forward with eternity in mind. The legacies these men will leave will be changed, strengthened, and cherished by those they influence.

Word is getting out. Departments around the country are becoming proactive in protecting and preserving the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of their deputies, officers, and firefighters. Our list of First Responders interested in attending a Legacy Program is rapidly growing. Please continue to keep our Veterans, Active Duty, and First Responders and their families in prayer. Remember to pray for Mighty Oaks as we continue our mission to help our Nation’s Warriors navigate the tragedies they’ve encountered through their service to America.