We recently received some hats and coins in the mail.
We have some hats and coins. They’re pretty commonly traded between law enforcement agencies. But these hats and coins are especially significant. These hats and coins were sent to us from a family by the name of Huczko. They were sent to us as a thank you for our participation in the Concerns of Police Survivors Outward Bound event. You see, Aidan Huczko is a young man who has had the wonderful, terrible opportunity to participate in this excursion for the past two years, where young people from around the country gather in Grand Junction each summer, and then travel to Moab for a week long rafting trip.
We say wonderful because, by all accounts, it’s a really fun trip with incredible leadership, and lifelong friendships are formed.
We say terrible because, in order to be eligible for the trip, all of these young people had to lose a law enforcement parent in the line of duty.
Aidan’s dad, Steve, served for 15 years as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Steve was among so many other indescribably brave souls who rushed toward the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Steve, 44, was a husband and father who worked nights as a police officer while he earned his nursing degree. He was also an avid runner, completing the New York City marathon in 2000, as well as participating with his children in triathlons. Liam, one of Aidan’s three older siblings, followed in his father’s footsteps, and graduated as a Port Authority officer in 2014. He now wears his father’s badge number.
Our participation in this program is not especially involved, or complicated. Our officers are honored to plan activities for the kids while they’re here for one night. We provide transportation from the airport to the hotel as the kids trickle in from all over. We arrange for meals with the partnership of local businesses. We plan an outing for the evening; this year it was roller skating, laser tag, bowling, and video games at a local entertainment center.
It’s a privilege to do something—anything—to give back to those that sacrificed so much for public service. Most of our officers have kids of their own. The C.O.P.S. kids feel like every cop’s kids.
So, please allow us to thank you, Aidan and family. The pleasure to know you is most distinctly ours.
Concerns of Police Survivors is a non-profit organization that provides a myriad of services to families that have experienced a line of duty death. They are funded by grants and donations. Should you feel moved to contribute to this incredibly worthy cause, check out their website at http://www.concernsofpolicesurvivors.org.