They're tough. They go into buildings from which others run, so it’s no wonder that Nathan, a 6-year-old boy with terminal cancer, looks up to emergency personnel.
For Christmas Nathan wanted cards from his heroes, and Santa didn’t hesitate. Police, fire and emergency medical service personnel from across the country heeded the call.
The American Association of State Troopers sent Nathan’s request to its members, and Randy Stewart, director of the Eastfield College Criminal Justice Training Center and AAST member, forwarded the request to all Texas Police Trainers, including Gabe Galvez, captain of the Brookhaven College Police Department.
With two young boys of his own, Gabe took the appeal to heart.
"It is a small wish from a little boy that looks up to police and emergency personnel," Gabe said. "That is why we all went into this and chose this life and career path: to help others."
Sending more than a card, Gabe named Nathan a Junior Lieutenant, complete with a framed certificate, a set of Gabe's previous lieutenant bars, three thin blue line bracelets, and a badge patch, department patch and Brookhaven College Police Department insignia pin. To seal the deal, Gabe also wrote Nathan a personal letter.
Though the initial request was a forward from another police department, Gabe and the Brookhaven College Police Department treated it as if it had been a personal request.
"We are brothers in blue no matter what and help out each other as family when the call is requested or asked upon us," Gabe said.
Last month Nathan learned that behind the badge, the boys in blue are not only tough and brave, but also soft of heart. Thanks to Gabe and the college police for their service and for going above and beyond to make a young boy smile.