Jamie Mims, an officer in the Democratic Club of Smith County, has lived the same thing for 12 years.
"I pray each time my husband goes to work and I pray when he's coming home. There's times he doesn't come home on time and I don't get a phone call," Mims said. "The kids are wondering and you are panicking. You don't want to show that panic. Then the garage door opens and it's OK."
Mims is married to a police officer. And for the second year, she is joining others in the Democratic Club of Smith County to recognize law enforcement members as part of Saturday's National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Hector Garza, an officer with the Smith County Democratic Club, said it should be more than a day or a weekend, it would be all year. He said the public needs to know how the club feels.
"The Democratic Party went through an image of 'defund the police.' That's not what it was about. We are here to support the police," Garza said. "Every morning, millions of Americans wake up and we go to work. And throughout the day we wonder what is for dinner tonight? What movie are we going to take the kids to, what sporting event do I have to take my grandkids to?"
"Law enforcement goes to work each day and wonder, 'Will I make it home to eat tonight, will I make it home to see the picture show tonight, will I see my grandkids to see the soccer game?' These are things we take for granted and a job description I would not like to have," Garza continued. "Especially in today's world. National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is our way of saying 'hi.' The men and women of blue, we thank you, we appreciate you. Last year it was done and this is just a carry on and something we hope to carry on each year. They so unselfishly put their lives on the line and not a lot of people say hi or honk. This day, this weekend, is for them."
Mims adds, "I'm married to a police officer and having one day to recognize law enforcement is not enough. This is a way to say thank you for those putting their lives on the line and I hope it' a catalyst to happen all the time.
Garza said there are several initiatives the club is taking on this year.
"This is just one of the steps the club is taking in 2021 for the initiative, #DemocratsCare and we want Democrats and East Texans more involved in their communities," Garza said. "This is one of the first steps with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. On behalf of all the officers in the Democratic Club of Smith County, we would like to thank them and we appreciate them."
The officers of the club visited several city agencies and the dispatch center Saturday. They will continue Monday to the county law enforcement offices.