August 19th of this year, I had cause to be in the same room with one of the Austin Police Department’s full-time Peer Support officers. During our conversation, he asked me if I would be interested in spending a weekend in Boerne. I was a bit puzzled at first, but he explained the mission of Hope for Heroes. I was a bit taken aback and surprised. Joe said he would let me know the following day, but he thought he could get my wife and I in on August 28th.
The next day, Joe confirmed with me and later in the week I heard from Brad Cornell. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I knew this getaway was much needed. My wife and I decided to make it a full weekend and come down on Friday night. Imagine my surprise when the Room Coordinator at The Bevy hotel felt I needed to let Brad know about our plans! But, I called Brad and let him know. He was quiet for a moment, but then kicked back into gear and rolled with it. It’s worth mentioning, this was all on Friday afternoon and we were planning on driving down that night. I now know why Brad got quiet.
First of all, when we got to the hotel, the desk clerk was super nice and helpful. Plus, there were complimentary cocktails and WARM COOKIES! I got us checked in and Haydee and I headed up to our room. Once in the room, there were two baskets awaiting us! One from the hotel and one from Hope for Heroes. I was shocked and moved to tears. Haydee and I perused the parcels, then got ready for bed. We got a good night’s sleep and the nextmorning, headed to the lobby about 10 minutes until 10:00, as we were asked to be there at 10:00 a.m.
As we entered the lobby, I was puzzled by all the people standing around. I thought, perhaps, there was a convention or something of that nature. I then noticed a man make eye contact with me. It was Brad Cornell. Notsure how he knew it was me, but he did. He calls everyone in the lobby to attention and introduces my wife and I. These people were there for us! THIS was Hope for Heroes. I am seldom at a loss for words: My wife says I’m a social butterfly because I rarely meet a stranger. I was speechless and overwhelmed with gratitude for the genuine words of kindness and thanks and for the prayers.
On top of that, there were numerous Deputies and Police Officers from Kendall County and Boerne P.D. These officers wear a different uniform, but we all have the same license and do the same job and the fact they took time out of their day to show up simply because my wife and I were in town really choked me up.
One very important thing I noted--the thanks and praise heaped upon my wife as well. It meant the world to me to see her recognized for what she puts up with for me to do this job and to continue to answer my calling. I have been in Law Enforcement for 30 years and have never experienced anything like this. Ever. And it didn’t end there. Brad handed us a gift card and told us to enjoy Boerne...and enjoy it we did!
The time Haydee and I spent in Boerne, TX will stay with us always. Not only was it refreshing, but we had noworries and it allowed us to reconnect as a couple and just enjoy each other.
The faces, the handshakes, the embraces are etched in my memory forever and I will treasure them. Thank you, Hope for Heroes and thank you, Boerne, TX. God Bless each and everyone of you.
Officer David W. Easley #5626
Austin Police Department