Ever read something or hear something and the sheer stupidity and total negative nature involved immediately pisses you off? I mean like from having a great day to instantly wondering what the hell some people are using for brains and a soul?
Last December I wrote a piece about my junior high wrestling teammate Mike Hutchinson. Returning the Favor Mike was shot in the line of duty as a Deuel County Nebraska Sherriff’s Deputy. He received four gunshot wounds and is only alive today because of miraculous timing and God’s Grace.
He has been in and out of the hospital since then and really isn’t out of the woods yet. Recently however his employer, Deuel County, allowed his health insurance to expire. At a recent meeting the county commissioners feigned ignorance and tabled the issue while telling Mike and his family that they may not make a decision in the future. As Mike’s daughter, Sarah Andrews, pointed not making a decision is actually making a decision. That’s the way cowards make decisions.
This pisses me off.
I walked around for years assuming that any officer (actually any public employee) killed or wounded in the line of duty would be fully cared for and insured. It just made sense. I also assume officer’s families would be taken care of in the event the officer is killed in the line. Two years ago Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich were killed in Tanana. Their families are currently fighting to keep their insurance. Our legislature is apparently suffering from the same lack of soul that the Deuel County Board of Commissioners has going on.
Simply stated our officers and other public servants deserve to know that they and their families won’t be left without health insurance or other essential benefits if doing their job means that they don’t make it home. I assume that Mike has Workers Compensation but that doesn’t cover his wife. He had insurance for his family when he took four bullets for Deuel County. He should have that insurance after.
According to Sarah one commissioner said that he didn’t think insurance was a wise expenditure of county funds because those funds are meant to benefit the county. I have two answers:
1. I am pretty sure that Mike and his family were paying taxes when he got shot.
2. I don’t care. I would personally sleep like a baby with the full knowledge that my tax dollars paid for insurance for the families of wounded and fallen public employees.
I understand that Duelle County has no procedure for this type of situation. Lack of a procedure or precedent should never be an excuse for not doing the right thing. Deuel County . . . State of Alaska just do the right thing.
Thanks for reading. Please share this. Use Google liberally to get in touch with officials and let them know what you think. We will talk again soon on This Side of the Diaper.