As someone raised by a police officer father, Shane Kelchen’s story is touching. You see, Shane lost his father recently, and his father shared an occupation with my dad. That means Shane and I have a little something in common.
Also like Shane, I found myself bullied growing up. For Shane, however, a bully destroyed something pretty precious to him. He collects business cards from police officers, which is kind of a neat collection to have. Unfortunately, a bully destroyed part of his collection, all while he was apparently dealing with the loss of his dad.
That’s tough on any kid.
Yet law enforcement is a lot like a family, and it didn’t take long before someone stepped up to try and make it better.
The son of an Iowa police officer who was killed in a car accident collects business cards from different officers, and when a school bully destroyed part of his collection, police departments all across the country stepped in to replenish it.
Shane Kelchen and his family went to the police department in Bellvue on Friday for the surprise, which turned out to be greater than Shane had imagined. He said he knew he was getting some business cards, but he was thinking a small box of them or something like that. Not only did he receive another 150 business cards to add to his collection, the gift was nicely framed and even included his late father’s business card.
“We didn’t know that he had a business card and I didn’t have one of his, so that’s the first one I’ve gotten,” Shane said.
Officer Travis Toms with the Kansas City Police Department has a son about Shane’s age and started gathering cards from his department when he saw the boy’s story on social media. But soon, Toms was receiving cards from officers from New York to Los Angeles.
That’s a touching story, and I suspect as this story goes even further, young Shane will get even more business cards from police officers, but nothing will quite top his father’s card in the mix.
The next time some wannabe activist starts flapping their gums about killing cops, remind them of people like Shane Kelchen and the countless other people who make up the law enforcement extended family. They’re not talking about killing some nameless, faceless government drone. They’re talking about killing someone’s son, someone’s husband, someone’s father.
Shane didn’t lose his dad to anything like that, but he lost him none the less. That’s just the reality that a cop’s kid has to come to terms with far too early, and I can’t speak for Shane, but I accepted it.
I also knew that if something happened to my father, we wouldn’t be left alone. My mother and I would never be truly alone. Instead, I’d have a bunch of people ready to step up and help out, doing anything they could to ease the burdens just a bit.
Shane may not have his father in more, but he can look at those cards and know that he’s never alone.