I write for an e-zine once a week. This is today’s article. You can subscribe by sending an e-mail to reallygoodquotes-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

There have been so many stories in the news about cops misusing their tasers. I’ve read of a small child (under the age of ten), a woman in her 80s, and a recalcitrant suicide attempt who was refusing aid all being tasered. And this was just in the last couple weeks. This seems to be an abuse of power.

I would also like to point out that police see an awful lot of things we, in the general public, do not. I’ve read the comments from “reasonable people” about what they would do in a specific situation. They often claim this reasonable status. The major problem, as I see it, is that by the time the police are called in, we are way past the reasonable point.

But another story appeared and I again was sucked into the tale. I will present it here.

A call came in concerning a “suspicious” man trying to break into a house. He was said to be “wearing a camouflage outfit” as he skulked around the home. He tried first a window, and then the garage without being able to gain access. He jumped the locked fence at the back of the house.

Officer Fred Martin is a 21-year veteran on the local police force. He approached and using caution called out, “Halt!” after seeing a male subject in the back yard. The male was indeed wearing camouflage.

There was a slight hitch. Christopher Kunder, 21, halted and spoke with Officer Martin. Kunder serves with the Army Airborne in Afghanistan. He was home, without anyone knowing it. He wanted to surprise his mother and sister. He was not only in camouflage, but wearing his red beret and his name was stitched above his pocket.

Officer Martin and the young man spoke further. Kunder wanted the police to call his mother and say there was an emergency at home and she should get there quickly. But the policeman could not do that. It would be a lie.

Instead, after getting her number from Kunder, he called and said, “This is Officer Martin of Bloomington Police. We’ve had a report of somebody trying to enter your home. It was unsuccessful but you might want to come home to make sure there’s no problem.”

Kunder’s mother, Martha Sternickle, complied although she wasn’t sure how they had managed to get her phone number. She assumed the police had their methods and she and her daughter hurried to their home.

During this time, Officer Martin put the “suspect” in the back of his police cruiser and turned the lights on. When Martha arrived, he asked her to peek in the back of the cruiser to see if, perhaps, she knew the man “because one can never tell.”

Martha looked, and thought the man looked very much like her son, until it dawned on her that it was, in fact, her son. Miraculously home from Afghanistan. Here at her house. Her son. Her precious son.

The “suspect” jumped out of the car and mother and son hugged with Mom crying like we all tend to do. Then, little sister, Josie, joined in the group hug so happy to have her big brother home.

“It was,” says Fred Martin, after 21 years of too much hardened crime, “a reunion that made my own eyes water.”

Officer Martin got into his car and retrieved his camera. He took a picture that is included in the story at pantograph.com. I’ve posted it here, as well.

A very happy family reunion

We hear about the horrible things police do, abuses of their power and sometimes egregiously out of control. But we hear about these things because they are out of the norm. Each day, policemen and women go to work and hold the evil that lurks out there at bay. They are put into untenable situations and handle themselves with grace and courage. We don’t hear those stories. They are “routine” and so don’t ever make it to press. The courage it takes to daily step between the criminals and society is seen as something not worth writing about. However, when we are faced with any dangerous situation, one of our first thoughts is to call for help from these brave people.

Do you have any stories of police being wonderful? Do you wish we could see more of these types of stories given space in the press?

Have you thanked a police officer lately? Do you really understand the danger they willingly face so the rest of us can live safely? To all our police officers here, a hearty thank you for all you do to keep us sheltered from the evil you face on a daily basis.