Heroes close to home

juliaveik

We see them on the big screen. Pulling off the impossible and risking their lives. They seem so far away, in their cinematic worlds, but heroes are closer than one may think.

From early on in her life, junior Marin Morrison’s dad was a police officer. He graduated from the academy when she was around 2 years old. “He worked nights and so he would try to catch up on his sleep all day. He was never really around for anything,” Morrison said.

He retired after spending 10 years on the force. If given the chance, Morrison believes he would start again even though he says he never will. Morrison said, “You can tell he misses it.”

Sophomore Mia Mixan’s dad works as a firefighter and is a trained paramedic. The calls he responds to vary from actual fires to other emergencies they call “medical runs.”

“They also get a lot of scary calls, if there’s a shooting, they have to go to that, too,” Mixan said.

The amount of time the firefighters spend responding to calls differs for each station according to Mixan. Police officers spend more time on the move than firefighters do. Mixan said, “My dad’s police officer friends will be like ‘Oh, you firefighters don’t do anything.’”

Her dad works 24-hour shifts and has a day in between each to recover. These shifts make it difficult for him to be there for his family. “Because he’s a firefighter he can’t take off work. Sometimes he just misses things that normal people wouldn’t miss,” Mixan said.

Junior Gabby Mainelli’s dad is a Douglas County Deputy but he used to be on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. His current job is to follow through on warrants for arrest. This particular part of his job has led to many chases on foot. It also caused an injury; he was grazed in his upper arm by a bullet while on duty.

He has spent around 20 years on the force, but Mainelli is hoping he will retire soon. “I’d say just knowing that there are bad people in the world and that they wouldn’t hesitate to shoot him… that’s what really scares me,” Mainelli said.

“I used to tell him every morning before he left that I love him. Now I just do it the night before to just make sure that he knows, just in case anything happens,” Mainelli said.

Anxiety is a major part of being the daughter of a first responder. Having a parent whose job puts them at risk of being injured leaves these girls wondering what each day might bring.

“The firefighter lifestyle is not for me,” Mixan said.

Morrison said she definitely wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps, but is unsure of if she wants to specifically be a police officer in the future.

“I’m thinking of doing crime scene investigation, more like behind the scenes,” Mainelli said.

Regardless of the stress it brings to them, each of these girls have immense respect for what their parents do.

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