Enough With the Election, What About Our Officers?

Enough With the Election, What About Our Officers?

In remembrance of our fallen law enforcement officers.

There is no doubt that the 2016 Election was one to talk about. It had its extreme highs and lows, with passionate people on both ends of the spectrum. But enough is enough. We need to quit talking about how upset we are that Trump won. We need to quit protesting and start living again. Because there are so many more important things going on in the world. There are so many other things that need our attention. Like the number of fallen officers in 2016. The number of men and women who spent their lives trying to protect you, me, our families, and our friends. The men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice right here at home when they should be home with their families this holiday season.

In 2016, so far, 60 officers have fallen in the line of duty. 60 police officers have given the ultimate sacrifice. 60 families lost a member of their family, a father, mother, husband, wife, daughter, son, brother, sister. Yet, here I am, looking at news headlines about people calling for a ballots to be recounted in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Here I am looking at news headlines telling us all of the people President-Elect Trump is putting in charge of different areas. Here I am looking at how Trump won't be pursuing Hillary Clinton's investigation and how President Obama is pardoning turkeys this Thanksgiving.

I sit here, in my small-town-Iowa home, wondering if some people even know that these shootings have happened. I sit here, unaware until about an hour ago, that 60 men and women had died in serving their communities. I sit here wondering if people know about the officers shot and killed in Iowa just a few weeks ago. Oh, but I'm sure they know about their favorite musicians holiday plans. About the bumper to bumper traffic in LA as people travel for Thanksgiving. I'm sure they know what time their favorite store opens for Black Friday shopping. Yet, we don't know about these horrific things going on around the nation.

I am just as at fault as the next millennial out there. I don't always know what's going on in the world. Hell, I hardly ever know the weather forecast for the day. But a lot of the reason I don't keep up to date is because rarely do I actually hear something I want to know about. While it is exciting that people are having babies and that Obama takes the time to "pardon" certain turkeys, those aren't the things I want to hear. I want to know what is really going on in the world around me, no matter how ugly it may be.

Please, stop talking about the election. Please, start talking about things that matter. Help me in remembering the 60 officers that have died in the line of duty. Help me in bringing awareness to the fact that our country is falling and people are beginning to feel unsafe. Being an officer comes with knowing you may not return home one day, but it should not be a fear coming true this often. Teach your children respect for officers. That if they don't agree with them that does not give them the right to pull a firearm and shoot them, or anyone for that matter.

Help me in remembering our fallen law enforcement officers.

In remembrance of our fallen police officers around the nation.

Sgt. Allen Brandt - Fairbanks, Alaska

Officer David Glassler - Phoenix, Arizona

Officer Darrin Reed - Show Low, Arizona

Officer Jonathan DeGuzman - San Diego, California

Sgt. Steve Owen - Los Angeles County, California

Officer Jose Gilbert Vega - Palm Springs, California

Officer Lesley Zerebny - Palm Springs, California

Sheriff's Deputy Jack Hopkins - Modoc County, California

Sgt. Rod Lucas - Fresno County, California

Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Wallace - Stanislaus County, California

Sheriff's Deputy Derek Geer - Mesa County, Colorado

Sheriff's Cpl. Nate Carrigan - Park County, Colorado

Maj. Greg Barney - Riverdale, Georgia

Officer Tim Smith - Eastman, Georgia

Sheriff's Deputy Sondron - Peach County, Georgia

Sheriff's Deputy Daryl Smallwood - Peach County, Georgia

US Marshals Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers - Long County, Georgia

Sheriff's Deputy Carl Koontz - Howard County, Indiana

Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio - Des Moines, Iowa

Officer Justin Martin - Urbandale, Iowa

Detective Brad Lancaster - Kansas City, Kansas

Capt. Robert David Melton - Kansas City, Kansas

Sheriff's Deputy David F. Michel Jr. - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola - East Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Officer Matthew Gerald - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Cpl. Montrell Jackson - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Dailey - Harford County, Maryland

Sheriff's Deputy Mark Logdson - Harford County, Maryland

Officer Jacai Colson - Prince George County, Maryland

Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. - Auburn, Massachusetts

Court Bailiff Ronald Kienzle - Berrien County, Michigan

Supervising Court Bailiff Joseph Zangaro - Berrien County, Michigan

Sgt. Kenneth Steil - Detroit, Michigan

Special Agent Lee Tartt - Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics

Officer Blake Snyder - St. Louis, Missouri

Officer Jose Chavez - Hatch, New Mexico

Officer Clint Corvinus - Alamogordo, New Mexico

Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo - New York City, New York

Officer Tim Brackeen - Shelby, North Carolina

Officer Jason Moszer - Fargo, North Dakota

Officer Thomas Cottrell - Danville, Ohio

Officer Steven Smith - Columbus, Ohio

Sgt. Jason Gooding - Seaside, Oregon

Officer Scott Bashioum - Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Sgt. Luis A. Melendez-Maldonado - Puerto Rico

Officer Allen Lee Jacobs - Greenville, South Carolina

Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier - Jackson, Tennessee

Officer Kenny Moats - Maryville, Tennessee

Officer David Hoffer - Euless, Texas

Sgt. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens - Dallas, Texas

Officer Michael Krol - Dallas, Texas

Sgt. Michael Smith - Dallas Texas

Officer Brent Thompson - Dallas, Texas

Officer Patrick Zamarripa - Dallas, Texas

Decetive Benjamin Marconi - Dallas, Texas

Officer Douglas Barney - Salt Lake, Utah

Trooper Chad D. Dermyer - Greyhound, Virigina

Officer Ashley Guindon - Prince William County, Virigina

Deputy Sheriff Dan Glaze - Rusk County, Wisconsin

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?


This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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