Stand up & be proud

11 Sep

We were enjoying some well overdue annual leave time. We were starting to relax and enjoy time without the routines of schools and work. One evening, whilst smiling, chatting and tweeting, our eyes were drawn to a certain type of tweet. I almost always hear things first on Twitter, however we all know to remain cautious until we know if it is an accurate and truthful tweet. We turned on the news channel and waited. Nothing for a while. Eventually we watched in disbelief as the country unravelled. The London riots had begun.  For the next two nights we were glued to the tv and our Twitter timelines. These were unprecedented scenes.

By the start of the third day, @RuralSgt was itching to get down there and help his colleagues. We both felt an enormous sense of ‘coming together’, and supporting the police force became a top priority. Mr R called in to work to see if he was needed and said that he would happily give up his leave to help, in fact, he was chomping at the bit. They initially said no. The fact that he was on annual leave meant that he would be one of the more expensive ones to deploy. However, he was about to enter his ‘Rest Days’ so they snapped him up for that. He was given no instruction, other than a place and time to meet.

The children and I fully supported him and helped get him ready to go. We wished him luck, begged him to stay safe and watched proudly as he left for duty. Then we waited. We knew nothing of where he was or when he would return. I watched the news and followed on Twitter, but I could do nothing else. I managed to get a message from him after he had been gone for about 16hrs. I knew he was safe and that he still had no idea how long he would be. A quick bit of perspective: he had already done about 2 days work in many people’s books. Throughout that time I was constantly worrying, yet putting on a smile for the boys.

Eventually, in the small hours, I tore myself away from the TV and shut down my social media for the night. I slept on and off, and after a 21hr shift my husband returned home. Thank goodness he was safe. He was totally exhausted, he had not been fed adequately, yet he still had a smile on his face. He was proud to have helped. After a mere 4hrs sleep, I had to wake him. We had family celebrations that weekend and he didn’t want to miss out. I felt terrible for him. He was knocked for six and simply couldn’t function all day. It was a tough day for him. The following day, our celebrations continued and he still suffered for most of the day. He didn’t really get to enjoy the fun that was going on, yet he didn’t complain once. The next day, he was back off to help again.

This time it was a 16hr shift. Again he had barely eaten or had anywhere near enough water. This time I felt angry. Throughout all of this, we had watched our government perform pathetically. I won’t begin to go into the details. For the first real time in my life, I really cared what was happening in the politics of our country. I was ashamed of the way that the media and the government simply refused to tell the truth about what was happening. We have our story from the riots, but we got off lightly. There are thousands of people out there with stories much worse. I had lost all confidence in Theresa May as our Home Secretary. She was doing a terrible job.

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8 Responses to “Stand up & be proud”

  1. Wendy Kerfoot (@1965Wendy) September 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Excellent MrsR. Can I use your blog to thank our local police in Manchester too. They all deserve a medal. Thank you to everyone who worked to get the safety back on our streets #noconfidenceintheresamay

    • MrsRuralSgt September 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Of course! The whole force has done an amazing job, thank you Wendy!

  2. Shay September 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Mr RS should be as proud of you as you are of him.
    #noconfidenceintheresamay

    • MrsRuralSgt September 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      That’s a lovely thing to say. He is!

  3. joannehannam September 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    Brilliant blog Mrs R. I think most police families went through similar experiences that week … and through our chats on twitter we all live quite similar lives mostly as well …. our husbands are heroes and did a brilliant job during the riots and always x

  4. @peelerswife September 12, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    It’s so hard when the children are small and Daddy is away working. Brilliantly written. xxx

  5. Claudia October 30, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Excellent post! Any public order sits are a nightmare. You hope that the news covers them so you can see if your husband is safe or not because you can’t contact them. I feel lucky he didnt choose to be in the armed forces as the worry must be overwhelming. Thank you to ALL frontline heroes. Sadly I think with the current govts

  6. Claudia October 30, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Cuts, the civil unrest will continue and we will see more demands on our police. Incidentally the Met couldn’t pay their overtime in sep. Apparently they couldn’t afford all of it so my family with other met families had to subsidise the govt. Yet i had to cancel work in order to provide emergency child care during the summer holidays which as a self employed individual has led to my loss of income. Strangely the govt havent press released that gem. It’s a disgrace. #noconfidenceintheresamay

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