July 17, 2016 changed my family... both blood and blue... That day is one I'll never forget. Even 6 months later, the phone calls and the dash to the hospital are still very vivid in my mind. I learned of the passing of three fellow officers.. EBRSO Deputy Brad Garafola and BRPD Officers Matthew Gerald and Cpl. Montrell Jackson. I spent that day at the hospital with family as my uncle, EBRSO Sgt. Bruce Simmons. Another deputy was also wounded, Cpl. Nick Tullier, whom I work directly with, he was at a different hospital from my uncle, so I received updates all day long on his status. Nick was severely wounded that day. He spent a long time in ICU, and a total of around 4 months at the hospital in Baton Rouge before being moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab Center in Houston. There, Nick is receiving amazing care and making huge progress, beating all the odds. Doctors in Baton Rouge said Nick wouldn't live, much less ever wake from a vegetative state. At TIRR, Nick has shown remarkable improvements and is continuing to fight hard for his recovery. Team Blue Line has adopted Nick as their primary officer to sponsor this year.
I plan to run all of my races this year in Nick's honor. Last year, I ran over 20 races, with my longest distance at 7 miles. This year, I plan to run farther than ever before with my ultimate goal to run a full marathon this year. I've already signed up to run my first half marathon, so I will be half way to my longest distance goal. I run road, trail and obstacle course races. The obstacle course races by far are my favorites and I've got at least 3 scheduled for 2017.
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