HIS BADGE, MY STORY by Vicki  Gustafson

HIS BADGE, MY STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Debut author and life coach Gustafson offers advice for fellow spouses of law enforcement officers in this debut motivational work.

Law enforcement is a difficult and dangerous profession, but how officers’ jobs affect the lives of those closest to them—particularly their spouses—is often overlooked. In the modern age, when discussions of police violence and police deaths are ubiquitous, it can be especially hard for spouses to cope, says the author. Gustafson’s husband, Jay, worked for the Arlington, Texas, police department, and in this book, she addresses the many hardships that law enforcement spouses face—from frightening moments when an officer is in danger, to day-to-day issues involving communication, career anxiety, and scheduling family activities. The author draws on her own experiences to illustrate several topics, as when she describes the depressive moods—she calls them “gremlins”—that affected her husband as he got deeper into his career. She also includes stories of other “LEOWs” (law enforcement officers’ wives) to address aspects that she hasn’t experienced firsthand. Each chapter begins with a “BOLO,” or “Be on the lookout,” which introduces topics such as “The Villain aka Worry and Fear” and “Communication Complexities,” and each ends with bullet points that offer remedies or coping strategies. Gustafson’s prose is muscular but often humorous, contrasting the formality of police procedure with the realities of human nature, as when she remembers her first son’s birth announcement: “ALL UNITS: BE ON THE LOOKOUT. White/Male 7 lbs., 2 oz. 19” tall.” She espouses a fairly conservative outlook regarding gender roles and criticism of the police, and her Christian faith is a recurrent theme. Readers who share these views will be the most receptive audience, and spouses of law enforcement officers, in particular, will appreciate the author’s stoic encouragement, and the knowledge that someone else has felt what they’re feeling.

An earnest, traditionally minded guide to being a law enforcement officer’s spouse.

Pub Date: March 19th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-973647-49-2
Page count: 214pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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