What is a Policeman? Let’s ask Paul Harvey the True Grit Hero of the Day

Paul Harvey’s “What is a Policeman?”

Don’t credit me with the mongrel prose: it has many parents-at least 420,000 of them: Policemen.

A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.

Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are “new”. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.

Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!

What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting;if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt.He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.

A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But…If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius….For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary

True Grit American Hero of the Day – Gen. Chuck Yeager

https://i0.wp.com/www.chuckyeager.com/wp-content/themes/Yeager/supersized/backgrounds/GeneralYeagerColor.jpg Chuck Yeager

When I was around 8 or 9 years old I was fortunate enough to have a father who sat me down and made me watch an amazing movie, The Right Stuff.  I was completely enamored with the story and the fact that I repeatedly sat through this 192 minute masterpiece at that age is a testament in itself.  Although I was fascinated by the story of the Mercury program and the Mercury 7 Astronauts, it was Chuck Yeager and his breaking of the Sound Barrier in the Bell X-1 that influenced me the most. Yeager’s story, a lifetime of service, heroics and unbelievable grit would make just about any man feel completely worthless.  During WWII he was shot down in his P-51 Mustang over enemy lines in France and managed to evade capture making his way into Spain.  Despite regulations against reinstating pilots to fly over enemy lines who had previously evaded capture, Yeager was able to convince none other than Ike himself to get him back in the fight.  Seven months later he pulled off an “ace in a day”, the first in his fighter group, shooting down five enemy planes in a single mission.  He went on to serve until the end of the war with 11.5 official victories under his belt.

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It is after the War that Yeager eventually made his way to Edwards AFB and went on to become the fastest man alive,  breaking the sound barrier on October 14th, 1947.  This historically significant feat was the first of many speed and altitude records he would rack up in the late 40’s and 50’s before taking command of the 405th Tactical Fighter Wing based in the Philippines where, not having had enough fun yet,  racked up another 414 combat hours over 27 missions over South Vietnam and Southeast Asia.  In 1969 Yeager was promoted to Brigadier General and Vice-Commander of the Seventeenth Air Force.  He officially retired on March 1st, 1975, but like most hard working patriots he continued to moonlight as a consultant with the USAF and NASA. https://i1.wp.com/hatfieldmccoycountry.com/uploads/images/Headers/chuckyeager.png

To top it all of, at the tender age of 89 Yeager celebrated the 65th anniversary of his historic supersonic flight by doing it again, this time in a F-15 Eagle. https://i2.wp.com/www.vintagewings.ca/Portals/0/Vintage_Stories/ArchivedStories/v_story_10.jpg

Chuck Yeager epitomizes the dignified, dedicated patriot we should all aspire to emulate and praise.  While there are those who make their living scouring the lives of our American Heroes finding any fault they can, they will be hard pressed trying to tarnish the accomplishments of General Yeager, my boyhood hero and first True Grit American Hero of the Day.

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