So right now I'm in Seat 10A
.........a coach class frequent flyer’s #1 wish.
It’s a scene right out of my comfortably chaotic, multitasked, overstimulated existence. It’s like my dashboard at work and the rooms in my house. Both armrests in the middle of the seats sitting cockeyed at different angels, two of the three trays tables folded down, a book and an ipod strew about the seats, the sounds of feverish typing and fervent backspacing barely audible over the loud hum of the jet engines, all accented by a couple of metallic bags of those airline peanuts and a draped thin lens cloth quality piece of fabric called an airline blanket. I wondered today how many days in total I have accumulated just sitting in transit, and then I think, who cares? It’s not wasted time. I’ve done a lot of thinking at boarding gates and train stations all over this world…and I’ve done a lot of people watching too. Today, I was the one that was the watched. Mostly because of my t-shirt bearing big black badge on my chest with the name Bradley Moody – Always Remembered and “Richmond Police K-9” emblazed across the back in big white and red letters. The TSA agent noticed the badge right away as I walked through the security check point and asked if I was a K-9 officer and motioned somewhere close in the area of Chicago.. “No, actually I’m a dispatcher in California”…and I paused for just a second before I said “but you know, some how were all kind of the same from here to there, you know?’ She got it and gave me a big smile, a pat on the back, and wish for a safe flight home.
I sleep irregularly on a regular basis, and even less when I travel so I’m usually running on fumes by the time I board. I couldn’t afford to not at least get a little shut eye today because when I land, I have to lace up my walking shoes and get to steppin’. I’m not sure on how many miles yet, but I have a guess that it will be 10 to 15. My heart tells me I can but my feet and my aching back tells me I can’t. Step Confidently Ahead. While I’m flying thousands of feet in the clouds somewhere between Chicago and home, one of the greatest projects I’ve ever had the chance to get involved in started on the ground at 3am this morning. I wasn’t going to be in town for this at all, but I couldn’t miss this one. Not after all the hard work and heart that’s been poured into this. I changed my flight and got up before the sun to get to the airport so I can meet my comrades somewhere along the pavement in Contra Costa County this afternoon. Two of the greatest guys that I know and work with came up with the idea to walk from Vacaville to Oakland to raise money for the trust funds of the officer’s children. Slowly over the last few weeks it’s gained its momentum; the papers picked up on it, citizens have taken note and called to see how they could participate, other officers, firefighter, and dispatchers from all over the Bay Area have given us their support and will be joining us along the way. A loss of one of us is a loss for all of us…but in the midst of senseless tragedy, our effort to show that we’re united and that we won’t forget is something that we can bring to life. From day one and hour one of planning, over coffee downtown, that was the attitude. We can’t do much, but we can do this.
My brother the Police Academy Grad is meeting me at the airport and he is going to walk with me. I don’t do much with either of my siblings and I always regret that we don’t do more. Having him share this with me is great. He needs to be part of this if he’s ever to understand the great responsibility and honor that there is in the oath he wants to take. Being an officer is bigger than a badge and a paycheck. It’s standing straight, holding your head high, and stepping confidently ahead shoulder to shoulder with all those other men and women who have sworn to do the same.