Another source of the silent pain inside is knowing it only takes just one. Those in the profession, spouses included, know the sensation of the hair prickling on our arms and back of the neck as our hearts beat a little faster, knowing that it takes just one. It is the one unknown risk traffic stop that goes wrong and the driver opens fire. The one alarm call in the middle of a storm where it should have been the thunder that activated the alarm, but it wasn't; instead there is someone inside with a gun who ambushes the officer. It is the one domestic call that turns into a subject desiring suicide by cop, and the cop has no other choice but to take a life for, if he doesn't, he loses his own. It is the one piece of black ice during a winter storm where everyone else is advised to be off the roads, but an officer is the closest unit to an infant who has stopped breathing. Driving to the home the wheels of the squad car leave the soundness of the pavement; the squad car is projected and flipped into a mighty oak. The officer cannot return to work but instead is forced into retirement due to injuries sustained on a day that schools and other businesses are closed.
For police spouses it is knowing that the phone call can come at anytime. That The One found our husband or wife. It is also knowing that The One found someone else's spouse that day, that week, that month. There is always a LEO family somewhere going through that pain and when one of us hurt, we all hurt together. It is someone's pain we are always carrying.
This is not to be said that all professions do not carry an element of risk and danger. For even the most routine to the most extreme do have danger. Risk is a part of life and we all could lose our life in an accident, being in a convenience store at the wrong time, or a burglar entering your home while you sleep. Those are the realities of life, but whatever risk you are involved in an officer will be responding to also. Their job is to assist you when your life is threatened. It only takes one time to lose it all. A police officer just has that element of risk every time they report for their watch. They call it a watch, because that is what they do. They watch over your safety and are willing to risk their own for people they do not know.
To live with the knowledge of the dangers of the job in a society that criticizes our men and women in blue is the silent pain I, and all police spouses, carry proudly!