When a good man leaves the job and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he [she] knows what they are leaving behind, because we already know. We know for example that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in the law enforcement life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breathe that remains in his frame. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.
These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the law enforcement world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing. Never think for one moment you are escaping from the life. You are only escaping the job and we are merely allowing you to leave active duty.
So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God, and you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.