Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. And first responders are trained to respond to them all.
We might often think of officers as “strictly business,” ready to respond to a crisis or tragic situation. But these men and women have committed themselves to so much more.
They serve our communities. They care for the citizens within their neighborhoods.
In Russellville, Arkansas, a group of officers has become one teen’s team of heroes. And all they had to do was simply show up.
Everything was set in place for the perfect 15th birthday bash. Single dad, Ben Butler, just wanted to throw his son Bradley a party he’d never forget.
It looked like he would get his wish because 30 invitees had sent in an R.S.V.P that, yes, they’d be there. But when the big day came, the turnout was much lower than Bradley and his dad expected.
“We had about 30 people R.S.V.P, but only three people showed,” Ben shared. “Two of Bradley’s friends and one adult.”
While it’s one thing for a few people not to show up at the last minute, more than 20 missing bodies seems like too large a number to be coincidental. Whatever the case, Ben knew he needed to take action if his son’s party was going to be all they’d hoped.
“He hollared at me and… told me kinda what was going on with Bradley’s birthday party,” Ben’s longtime friend, Sgt. Mark Frost, said. The next thing the Butlers knew, patrol cars were pulling into the parking lot at the arcade where the party was being held.
“Kids’ birthdays are probably their most important day, other than Christmas, and they need to celebrate it with people,” Frost added. Good words from a good officer.
When asked how he felt about the disappointing situation, Bradley kept a positive attitude. “It made me feel a little sad, but I had my close friends to me. So, that’s about all I needed.”
Despite its slow beginning, the party ended up being a success. And the people who cared most about Bradley and Ben were there for the celebration.
“Bradley has been extremely grateful that everyone tried really hard to celebrate his birthday,” Ben said. “And I’m just grateful that he’s happy.”
Though it was a small task to show up and play arcade games for an hour or two, these Russellville officers made a huge impact. I’m sure Bradley will never forget his 15th birthday–it will be a story he and his dad can smile about for years to come.
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