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Thank you to a trooper

Good evening,

Last week I took my two sons, ages 4 and 16 months, to Chick-fil-A in Clermont for lunch. Earlier that morning my 4-year-old had seen a city police vehicle pass by and had casually mentioned, “I’m going to be a police officer when I grow up.” As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, he noticed a Highway Patrol car. He asked me where the police officers were and I told him they were probably inside eating lunch. Once we got inside he asked me again where they were. He then peeked around the corner and noticed two troopers sitting together eating lunch.

My son has always been shy, had a hard time adjusting to preschool, and is only just recently becoming comfortable spending time with family members without Mommy or Daddy present. In all his excitement, he went directly up to the troopers and said hello. I was absolutely shocked, but thrilled that they smiled and acknowledged him. I tried to lead him away then, not wanting to interrupt what I’m sure was a much-needed break; however, the troopers engaged him in conversation. I explained that he was fascinated by “rescue cars” of all kinds and just wanted to say hello. It was then that Trooper Jose Brierly offered to show my son his car. He left his table, took us outside, and let Owen sit in the front seat of the car to show him all of the mechanisms within. My son was speechless! Trooper Brierly even gave Owen a Junior Trooper badge, which the child wore all day and still keeps on his dresser. That night Owen spent an hour telling my husband all about his day; it also took us some extra time to get ready for bath time because he said he couldn’t take his badge off!

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Trooper Brierly. Showing Owen his car was a simple gesture, but it meant the world to this little boy and helped to encourage an already growing interest in law enforcement. What a wonderful thing for him to have positive experiences like this to carry with him. I spent seven years as a high school teacher before my children were born and I know how sometimes the simplest acts can make a difference in a child’s life. Thank you to Trooper Brierly for making a positive impact in the community and really going above and beyond to show caring for even some of the youngest citizens!

With sincere thanks,

Cheryl and Owen Degges


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