This past weekend I had an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and I took 2/3 of my triplets along for kicks. A family friend was being sworn into the National Guard so we drove up to the National base at Camp Dodge in Des Moines to witness the proud moment.
I also had an ulterior motive. You see, I attended the Iowa Department of Public Safety Academy at Camp Dodge when I became a Iowa State Trooper. I'd never had the opportunity to take the kids to see where I went through my peace officer training way back when. You know. Brag a little bit. Show the offspring where I lived, where I ran in formation, (where I puked out of formation), where the obstacle course was located (the one with the wall from hell you had to get over in order to complete training, etc.) So we took some time to wander around and after I pointed out the landmarks associated with fourteen weeks of sheer unadulterated fear and profound discomfort, we found ourselves in the Gold Star Museum which houses, among tons of military artifacts and weaponry, a room dedicated to the men and women of the Iowa State Patrol.
Okay, so I don't remember any female troopers as tall as the one pictured with yours truly above, and my hair sure wasn't anywhere near this short, but I certainly remember wearing that uniform--and wearing it proudly.
Often when we go back and revisit places that had a profound impact in our lives we go through "what if" moments: What if I'd stayed on the patrol until I retired? What would my life have been like? Would my life have been better? Worse? Or maybe just.. different?
From the patrol I went to the Iowa Department of Justice and became a consumer fraud investigator. From there, I became the mother of triplets. And eventually...an author. An author who has an awfully good time writing about horses and whodunnits, cowgirls, cops, and crime.
What's one of your most touching "memory lane moments"? What, if anything did you learn by looking back?
Me? I learned that once a trooper always a trooper--in some form or another at least.
I still work in a related field. And I'm still proud as can be that I was--once upon a time--a brown shirt.