It’s been a tough year for the men and women in blue, between questionable shootings and the back-to-back deadly attacks targeting police officers.
But the people often forgotten are the wives and children of officers.
Saying goodbye each day is harder than ever before.
“We don’t say goodbye. It’s never goodbye. It’s see you later — that’s a big thing in our house,” said Dani Marie, who helps run the LEO Wives support group in Central Florida.
Marie is the wife of a Winter Haven police officer and proudly flies the blue line flag outside her home.
But lately, with the back-to-back news of deadly attacks on police officers, that pride is beginning to intersect with fear.
“We don’t have a lot of conversation about it. When he’s home, he’s home. He’s with his family,” she said.
The support group is a way for spouses to connect with each other and discuss how they are feeling while he or she is away.
There are more than 300 members throughout central Florida.
“I can’t even tell you the amount of posts daily that I’ve been reading of fear, of sadness, of confusion,” she said. “These women don’t even know each other, but they are a blue line family member.”
The posts aren’t always grim.
You can’t help but smile at some of the snapshots that Marie shared of dad checking on his kids while on a break, or trying to leave when it’s over.
“I want to make sure I capture that moment and be able to share it with the rest of the community,” she said.
It’s a way to show that they are human, too.