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My Bias

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

Thank you to the Boys and Girls Club, the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office, the DPS, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City Marshall, the volunteer fire departments, state troopers, EMS and all of the other first responders who welcomed the community and served up delicious hamburgers and hotdogs Tuesday night (Oct. 3) for “National Night Out.” I think it was an absolutely outstanding community event. My best ‘guestimate’ is that about 300 people — mostly families — showed up for this generous, entertaining, informative and purposeful event. (Please give me a call and set the record straight if I’m off on that number or to provide a more accurate number.) It’s always great for me to see city council members in a setting other than their working meetings, too.
I tend to be a fly on the wall — in fact I’ve been called a fly on the wall — so if I didn’t speak to you directly and thank you personally for your service, please forgive me. I apologize. I was busy trying to not kick up my heels to the music performed by Rebel Roxie, and super busy observing kids running, jumping, sliding, skateboarding, riding a mechanical bull and interacting with service dogs. Talk about building good memories. While visiting with Josh and Lisa Lannon, founders of Warriors Heart, we agreed that lasting memories were being made that night. The young kids will probably forget about most of it, but they’ll never forget leading and petting incredibly well trained service dogs (courtesy of Operation Overwatch). Operation Overwatch is located on the campus of Warriors Heart, a private treatment center for first responders, active duty military and veterans suffering from PTSD, chemical dependency, or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
“These are the real heroes — our first responders,” said Josh Lannon. “If you’re in a crisis and dial 911, these are the people who respond. We are happy to be here, in Bandera, and to be a part of building a bridge between community and first responders.”
You may want to mark your calendars, because Warriors Heart will have an open house Nov. 11.
Firefighters, meanwhile, put on a great demonstration of what’s involved in rescuing someone trapped in a automobile.
Public health nurse, Bridget Wahler, had a table set up to demonstrate car seat safety and car seat installation protocol — which is trickier than many might think. And the Sheriff’s office provided plenty of “Gun Safety” and “What Can I Do About Strangers” coloring books, along with bracelets and refrigerator magnets with useful phone numbers on them.
One of the highlights for me was meeting Sheriff Deputy Kristina Hoiberg and her sons and one of their friends who were entertaining the crowd with spinning fire, or “fire dancing” as it’s sometimes called. What started out with a teenager (her oldest son, Taylor) twirling glow sticks 6 years ago has evolved into a hobby/business/passion. It was inspiring listening to the mother and son (nicknamed “Wick”) tell their stories of pursuing a sport (spinning fire) and a career as a Sherrif Deputy. Both involve danger and fear.
“If someone isn’t afraid, I don’t want them on my team,” Wick said. “Fear is our teacher.” Spoken like the son of a Sheriff Deputy.
Some activities and careers involve a lot more danger than others. Certainly our first responders know this better than anyone. We no doubt don’t thank them often enough. At least for me, National Night Out is a welcome opportunity to thank them again, and inspiring to see them in their other role — as members of the same community. Thank you.