Delivering a check to Officer Edwin Gonzalez at his post at the Washington State Reformatory. The check will help him offset his costs from traveling to Washington D.C.
In May, I accompanied a member from the Steilacoom Police Department to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. for the National Police Week ceremonies. I’ve made this trip several times to pay respect to those who have died in the line of duty.
Visiting the memorial is an extremely emotional experience for me. No matter how many times I go, it never gets easier. During my trip this year, I became aware that that Officer Edwin Gonzalez from the Monroe Correctional Complex was also at the memorial so I arranged for us to meet. The time I spent with Officer Gonzalez moved me so much that instead of sharing my experience, I want to share his.
Officer Gonzalez has traveled to the ceremony in Washington D.C. every year since Jayme Biendl’s murder in 2011. To him, this isn’t a vacation. He takes part in nearly every activity, from the run, to the wreath laying ceremonies. At first, I assumed he came on official DOC business, but I wrong. He does this on his own time and with his own money.
When I met Officer Gonzalez, he was decorated head to toe in his MCC Honor Guard uniform. After watching him take part in the wreath laying ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial, we chatted, took photos together and then I invited him to dinner.
Over dinner, I heard the story of a man who has dedicated his life to serving his country and his community. His words and actions epitomize his humility and his deep devotion to public service. He is a man who refuses any recognition, but if only for this moment, I would like to give him some.Read more