Valor: boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery. (dictionary.com)
On June 8, Ryan was given a Medal of Valor award from the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation. He didn't know he was getting the award until a couple of days prior, which just thrilled him. Hahaha- he HATES things like this. He was asked by his Captain to give a few remarks at the program several weeks before. The award was unexpected. It was very nice of the foundation to give Ryan the award.
The dinner was at the Stockdale Country Club, and dinner was great. I ate WAY too much, and we sat at the Young and Nichols table. (Young and Nichols are a law firm, and we are friends with the Nichols part.) Several officers were honored as "Exceptional Officer of the Year" from various departments. Another officer from the Arvin PD received the medal of valor as well, after he got in a fight and had to shoot someone.
When Ryan's turn came, they showed a picture of his car. The room got really quiet. Then, they played part of his 11-99 call to dispatch. The room was SILENT. You could here a pin drop. All evening was fairly noisy because of dinner, and the clinking and clanking of silverware and glasses. When they played the recording, it was eerily silent. After the recording, his Captain called Ryan up and everyone in the room gave Ryan a standing ovation. He was calm and collected during his radio traffic. He gave great details. He was worried about responding units, telling dispatch to tell them to slow down, his injuries weren't life threatening. He warned responding units that the weapon was a fully automatic MAC-10. In short, instead of peeing his pants and sucking his thumb in the corner of the car like I would have done (had I not gone mental with anger and rage...because who knows how you'll react, right?) he was the epitome of professionalism. In my opinion.
When it was Ryan's turn to talk, he was... don't think I'm bragging here... better than anyone that night. That boy has a true gift for speaking to an audience. No notes, nothing written out. He was awesome. And, I'm not just saying that. Even Don Clark, an old TV news reporter who worked in Bakersfield for years came up to him and told him his remarks were the highlight of the night. So many people came up to us afterwards and told Ryan what a great job he did. He did.
Later that evening, a Sheriff officer from Kern Valley was honored as Officer of the Year. He is awesome, and it made our little valley look great. The officer who got it is a great guy, and does a lot of work with our youth up here. The kids and parents just love him.
Ryan is glad it's all over. He has a box with stuff in it from this incident. Now, it's back to business as usual. An arrest has been made in connection to the shooting- it's a credible connection. (I really don't know how much I can say about what I know, so I'm zipping lips here. Sorry. Ere on the side of caution, right?) We will see how it all goes down from here.