" Think About it..."
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True Police Stories
"Courage is the ability to move;
when all around you are frozen in fear
My Name is Ray Blevins
Iíve been told my life has been one miracle after another.
I was born in 1967 in Payson, Arizona. We were living in Pine, Arizona, which is the next town up the highway. December of 67 was the worst winter that Arizona had. It snowed 4 feet in 8 days that winter. Approximately 4 months later, my mother rolled me up in a blanket and put me in the front seat of our 1962 Chevy Nova. My mother and I were going to Globe. We just passed the town of Pumpkin Center which was a small town on what was then a small windy, dirt road. Pumpkin Center consisted of a small store and filling station. The road that runs through there runs along Roosevelt Lake. Most fishermen here know that road. The road was very muddy and icy and my mother lost control of our car. The car went off the dirt shoulder and rolled all the way over and then back onto itís wheels down into the ravine.
During the rollover I, as a 4 month old baby,
I landed in the bottom of the ravine before the car finished rolling down the side of the embankment. I landed on the only sandy place in that area. Every thing else was rocks and brush. I landed next to a big rock and the car came crashing down on top of me. But the big rock saved me. It propped the car up, preventing it from crushing me. Afterwards, my mother heard me crying from under the car. She made her way out and crawled under the car to get me. My face and head was bloody where I had gone through the windshield. She carried me back up to the dirt road and said a prayer, asking for help. Approximately 10 minutes later, a beer truck came by and the driver stopped. He picked us up and took us to the hospital that was in Payson.
Payson, at that time, was just a little poor-mans town. Their hospital was simple with not a lot of up to date equipment. They did the best they could. After I had been released for about 1 month, my grandma was babysitting me. That night the light was hitting my forehead just right.
My grandma saw something that was in my forehead
Later on as an infant, the doctors were afraid I would go blind or deaf because of the way my head was growing. It was growing long and not round. They decided it would be safer to let it grow and not to do surgery so that's what they did. To this day, I cannot wear a hat. None fit my shape.
When I was 3 years old, I had to start speech therapy to learn how to talk. When I was 4 years old, my parents discovered I was deaf in my right ear. They were letting me listen to the ticking of a wind up wrist watch, and I couldnít hear it. They thought I was just trying to get attention and didnít believe me. Later, they took me to the doctor and found that the nerves to my right ear had been severed and had withered away. My mother started me in preschool when I was old enough but I flunked preschool and had to take it again. In school, I kept failing my classes. All I got were Dís and Fís. By this time we had moved to Globe, Arizona. My mother tried to get me special help in learning, but at that time, there was no "Special Ed" classes in Globe. So my mother had to fight for it until it was started up. In school, I was classified as retarded.
I found myself getting in fights a lot
In 1978, my parents moved to Apache Junction to get me better help in learning. My spelling is my downfall. I canít spell very good because I canít say the words right. Partly because I can't hear the words right. And because I canít say the words right, I could never learn phonics. I donít move my lips or tongue when I talk and I donít have much movement in my jaw. I stayed in speech therapy until I was in the 10th grade.
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be an Arizona Highway Patrolman. I dreamed of that often. When I was 15 years old, a friend of mine who was a Highway Patrolman, told me that I cannot become one due to my deaf ear. This broke my heart and so I asked my Bishop to give me a blessing to restore my hearing. I was disappointed because my hearing didnít come back. I was still deaf in my right ear.
I wanted to hear out of both ears. I wanted to be a Highway Patrolman. In the blessing, I was told that if I would go on a mission for the Church and live a good life, that I would have a job with a police department one day. But after my hearing didn't come back, I went on with my life and forgot about the blessing. During that time, I also became an Eagle Scout.
When I turned 16 years old, I joined the Pinal County Sheriffís Department Explorers. I stayed with the Explorers for 3 years. At that time I tried out for the Army National Guard. I went to the recruiter's station, applied and tested. The minimum point score had to be 36 to be accepted. I received 17 points and was turned away.
I then decided to go on a mission. They didn't ask for point scores there.
I went on my mission for the LDS Church when I turned 19 years old. Prior to leaving on my mission, I had to get two of my bottom wisdom teeth pulled. I went in and before they started they gave x-rays to view the jaw before pulling the teeth. After the x-ray, the doctor came in and asked me if I had moved during the x-ray. I told him no. He said that I must have and gave me another x-ray and told the nurse to stay with me to make sure I didnít move this time. Again, I didnít move and the x-ray looked the same as before. What the x-rays showed is that my jaw, ball and socket joint and my jaw bone had been crushed and had grown back together wrong. This was a result of the accident where I had flown through the windshield when I was a baby. This was why I didnít move my jaw when I spoke. And this is why when I go to dentists, I canít open my jaw very wide. Up until that point, we never knew my jawbone and the ball and socket joints had been broken.
I went to the Alberta, Canada mission and served 2 years for the LDS Church. I worked hard and learned more about the Church during that time than I had ever before known. In Canada, the winters were so cold, that I got extreme headaches. They thought I had a brain tumor but it turned out to be the problem with my jaw. I still suffer with bad arthritis in my jaw when it gets cold. I had some problems with the other missionaries sometimes as well.
Sometimes they would talk about me
When I returned from my mission, I wanted to get started with my life. I was blessed to find a very good job in 7 days with a local military defense company working to help make munitions. Later on it developed into a security officer position, where I guarded those munitions during the nighttime. I was able to get that job without any prior experience and I was able to keep it for almost 10 years.
After I found that job, I began looking for a truck I could afford. I found a 1987 Mazda truck with 60 thousand miles on it and then went to the credit union for a loan. I had no credit and I had only 25 dollars in my account that I had opened the week before. I had had my job for just a short time. The loan officer at the credit union told me she didnít usually make loans like mine but she felt to take a chance on me and gave me the loan without a cosigner. My credit is good now and that truck lasted me for 127 thousand more miles. Shortly after I got my truck, I began looking for a house.
There is a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that says,
I looked for a house for 2 years. One day I was driving down Apache Trail and I felt strongly to turn into a realty company I was passing by. I went inside and asked the lady "What is the cheapest house you got?" She said, "A house just came on the market about an hour ago, I need $100.00 to hold it." She said it was a bank-repo out of California. The bank in California was wanting to dump it. They were only asking $40,000 dollars for it. I told her Iíd like to buy it. I went to the bank and got the money and came back and gave it to her.
She told me she likes helping young people get started and said, "Letís offer $35,000 dollars for the home and ask that they give you a one year warrantee and throw in a new stove." She gave them that offer and they took it. I was making $7.00 dollars an hour with a truck payment at that time when I bought that house. I still have that house today and I am working to pay it off ahead of time.
When I turned 23, about 6 months after I bought my house, I was married to my wife in the St. George Temple in 1991. My first child came 3 weeks early in July of 92. My wife and my son almost died during birth. After my son was born, the doctors found two holes in his heart. He should have died but he was given a series of blessings and he lived. No surgery was performed and within two years, the holes in his heart were healed totally. When my son was 3 years old, we found out that my son had a mental handicap. Today he is 11 years old and they say his mental abilities are somewhere between a toddler and a 3 year old. We will have him the rest of our lives.
I had bought a really nice nickel plated 357 magnum revolver from a friend. A police style 357 back-up model with a holster. It was beautiful. I bought it from a friend and paid $200.00 dollars for it. I had it for 3 years. One day at about the first of December of 1996, I felt to get rid of my revolver. I didnít understand that feeling at all but the feeling kept coming to me stronger and stronger that I needed to get rid of my pistol. The feeling became so strong that finally I tried to sell it to anyone I knew but no one wanted it at that time. I finally sold it for $50.00 dollars at a pawn shop, just to get away from that feeling.
I could not understand why that feeling was there
My daughter was born about 3 years after my son on December 20th, 1995. She was a healthy baby girl with no problems. On December 13th, 1996, my wife and I took my daughter to the doctor for a cough. The doctor mis-diagnosed her, gave her some medication and sent us back home. I gave her a blessing but she just kept getting worse. I called the doctor on Saturday morning and he told me she would be fine if I followed his instructions. I also talked to a nurse in our ward and she told me that whatever the doctor said was probably right and to just do what the doctor said. But it wasn't working. She was getting worse. On December 15th, 1996, I was up all night with my her. She was having a very difficult time breathing. My son woke up at about 0230 hours in the morning and came out and sat with me as if he knew something.
That night, on December 15th, 1996 at 0300 hours, my daughter died in my arms.
I woke up my wife and gave my daughter to her and called 911. I took my daughter back and started CPR on her. Soon two police officers arrived and took over the CPR. Two fire department units arrived and they took over the CPR from the officers. But it was too late. She was already dead. It had only been 47 hours, from a simple cough to end of her life.
That was so hard.
Try picturing one of your children dying in your arms.
Afterwards I was so angry and so depressed. Unwilling to tell you everything, I will only tell you I wanted to go get my pistol and end everything. But then I remembered that I had sold it. And then I knew and understood why that feeling to sell my pistol had come so strongly just 2 weeks before my daughter's death. I know it was the Holy Ghost preparing me for what was going to happen in my life. Finally in time, I corrected my thinking and we lived for our son.
I learned something about Satan too.
On my sons medical records, his doctor put in big letters, "NOTE: Both parents are mentally handicapped." My daughter's doctor tried to explain the death of my daughter away by this statement made by my son's doctor. But it was not true.
These type of things are just a way of life for me.
But on September 13th, 1999, I was hired as a Mesa Police Department Municipal Security Officer. After this, I started coming out of my depression. Being hired as a security officer for a police department, was the next best thing to becoming a police officer. This was one of the happiest days in my life. The blessing I had when I was 15 years old had just come true. At the end of my first year as a Mesa Municipal Security Officer, I was nominated and given an award for being Security Officer of the year. This was in the entire Phoenix Metro Valley area. That really topped it off for me. I am respected and liked at work.
In life, Iím just an average Joe, trying to make it on one income. Iím no Job, he had everything taken away from him. I donít want everything taken away from me, Iím just trying to make it one day at a time. But I think these blessings have come because I pay my tithing.
Iím writing this on the 7th anniversary of the death of
I know God and Jesus Christ live
And I know that someday we will be a whole family again
Be thankful for the blessings you have
Officer Raymond Blevins
If you are or were a police officer,
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Thank you and God bless,
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