WOW, where to start? Brother and Sisters I would say is the heart of my topic. Being involved with this incredible group of people is unlike any other of my life. You are truly an amazing group of dedicated and caring professionals, that has gone unmatched in my life time. Brothers and sisters are in my experience, the tightest bond between people there can be. They are always there for each other and no questions are asked, no matter the situation. At least, not until the crisis they face together has been fixed and taken care of, then the brother and sisterly good natured ribbing or serious mentorship takes place.

What is special about these relationships? Brothers and sisters will usually bend over backwards to help their sibling when they are in trouble. Well, unfortunately last year I found myself in that kind of serious financial and personal trouble. I was literally at one of the lowest points in my life.  In May 2011, I was forced to move from midnights to dayshift by my military commander, which caused me to loose my long time part time job, during the day. I lost $1300 a month in income just like that.  Six months later Christmas was looming and I was so far behind on utilities and all my bills that I had filed bankruptcy in November.  Utilities were three months behind and they were threatening to shut off service. I had just enough money to barely cover the minimum amount to keep them on, but had no money after that to buy not even one gift for my kids.  Having a 9 yr old that believes in Santa Claus and not having the means to have a single gift or stocking was going to be hard to explain. I had a choice to make. What to do?

One thing I did have in my favor was a new friend I had befriended on FB during the months leading up to this time and she was a godsend. I vented on this understanding soul on a weekly if not daily basis for some time. She patiently heard me out and offered advice and she knew my whole story. The name of this angel is Tamara Mickelson, my new found sister from the 3rd SPG. Then another angel came along Valerie Milicevic. She made the suggestion that the 3rd SPG FB Group take up a fund to help out fellow 3rd SPG members that may need help during the holiday season. I said to myself, “man what an awesome idea, if I only had a few extra dollars I would donate to that”.  Little did I know that a few short days later I would get two notices of termination of service for both my utilities bill and my electric bill on the same day. They were going to shut off my electric and my water and gas all on the same day, the 23rd of December. Imagine how Christmas was going to be at my house. Not so merry and cold, to say the least.

Well, I got up enough courage to send a message to Tamara. I told her, “you know, I feel kind of embarrassed about this, but, do you think I could maybe get some of that fund to pay my electric bill Tamara?” That would have given me enough to buy a few small gifts for under the tree. Only a few seconds passed and I had an immediate response, she said, “Michael sweetie, the fund is for you”. I was stunned! I didn’t know what to say. To that point in my life, I had never had to ask for help from anyone at anytime, for anything.  Foolish pride brushed aside, I accepted the offer of help thinking if it could just get enough to cover the electric bill, I could put two or three small gifts under the tree for the girls and kind of salvage a semblance of Christmas.  I waited for a week more until the fund raising period ended.

Finally, Tamara called me and gave me the news. $535, WOW. I couldn’t believe it. Speachless, me speechless. The tears just ran down my face. I could not believe my brothers and sisters would be able to collect that kind of money.  Christmas for my two girls was saved. A 9 year old’s idea of Christmas came true yet again and it is all because of you. My brother’s and sisters are the best security police unit to ever exist.