P1 First Person: My Turning Point

The essay below was among the finalists in a recently completed contest held at CopsOnline. Launched in 1996 as the original web site for real cops, by real cops and now a part of the PoliceOne Network, the new CopsOnline offers an expanded selection of interactive online features like videos, blogs, forums, pictures, and friend lists. We’ll be posting other top vote-getters in this essay contest in upcoming weeks – check the PoliceOne website on alternating Thursdays for the next couple of months for those.

Read the other finalists in the CopsOnline Essay Contest and get involved in the community

By Tony Luketic

“Daddy, can you put a ribbon in my hair?” A simple request made by my then four-year-old daughter. Little did she know that request would be one of the most traumatic and emotionally draining days of my life. Three months before this day, I was shot twice and was still in a wheel chair.

November 30, 1995 would be a day that changed not only my life but that of my entire family. I was doing some personal banking with my mother when my worst fear was realized. While standing in the teller line an armed individual decided he was going to rob the bank and I was unarmed. During the robbery he attempted to kill a bank teller who was too frightened to get the money from the drawer. I intervened and suffered two gunshot wounds and serious injuries to my body. My injuries left me in a wheelchair for several months, no use of my left hand, and deeply depressed. I then believed that was the turning point of my life, but in reality, it was minor compared to my daughter’s request three months later.

I was sitting in my chair when Bethany asked me, “Daddy can you put a ribbon in my hair?” After trying for about five minutes, which seemed like an eternity, I told her I couldn’t do it and to go see her grandmother to do it for her. She looked at me with those brown eyes, and then asked why I was crying. With the child innocence that can never be replaced she said she would take care of me and off she went to see her grandmother for her ribbon.

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