“You Just Never Know”

Submitted byWayne Burke

Hey Dave… Here’s a story with a different twist for you… Firstly, I’ve never considered myself a hero, and all I did as an RCMP officer for 26 1/2 years across this great country of ours, was my job, and what I was trained to do… However, I still thought you might enjoy this “read”, as it means a lot to me…

As a policeman, fireman, etc., in most cases, we really never know if or how we may have positively affected the lives of those we encounter during our careers… As a “First Responder”, it’s almost like the “Hit & Run” syndrome, where you do what you have to do, and then there’s a good chance you may never see that person(s) again in your life… Well, just the opposite happen to me one day, and it touched me like I had never been touched in my career…

I spent 10 years posted in Newfoundland (1988 – 1998…), and in 1998, was transferred to St. George, NB… From 1988 to 1991, I was posted in the small town of Springdale, about an hour west of Grand Falls, NF…

Shortly after moving to St. George, NB, one day I was working and found myself in the local bank, dressed in uniform… All of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder… I turned and looked, and there was a young man standing there… He was in his mid 20’s, and I KNEW the face was familiar to me…

Hello Cst. Burke he said… I quickly replied, “I know your face, but can’t put a name to it right now”… My name is ****** and I’m from Kingspoint, NF… Kingspoint being a small village near Springdale… Yes, I said, now I remember you, although it was vague in my mind at the time… “What brings you to St. George” I asked… “Well, you’re partially responsible” he answered… Of course I was perplexed by his answer… “How so” I asked… He went on to explain, and I think I began to “well up” as he reached the end of his story…

“Do you recall the time you charged me with assault in Springdale??? I was at a high school dance, had gotten into a fight, and hung a pretty good licken on the guy” he said in his Newfoundland accent… “And up to that point, you had also charged me a few times for driving recklessly around the area”… “Well, the night of the assault, you took me to your office, and gave me the best fatherly lecture I’d ever received… You told me that it was time for me to grow up, and start to realize that if I didn’t change, I wasn’t going to amount to anything in life”… And he went on to explain that in great detail…

He added; “You drove me home later that night, and for the next few weeks, I started to think and realize that you were absolutely right… That if I didn’t make some drastic changes in my lifestyle, stop all the partying and foolishness, I was going to amount to nothing and be a nobody… So I made a decision that it was time to change… Today, I’m a licensed commercial diver, I work on a large Salmon compound just outside of St. George, and I’m married to a great gal and have one child… And as far as I’m concerned, I owe a good portion of my success to you, and that talk you gave me that night”…

Like I said, I began to tear up, and could hardly speak… We chatted a little longer, each did our banking business, shook hands and went on our way… I continued to encounter the young man in my travels and duties in the St. George area, and saw that he is in fact a fine young man with a great career and a great family…

This may be one of the few or only incidents or times in my career, when I actually got to witness that I had in fact had a positive influence on another human being, and maybe helped make their life a little bit better… I don’t get the opportunity to share this story very often, or with many folks, so I guess I’m taking advantage of your contest to do just that, ha!!!

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Like I said, I don’t consider myself a hero for this, or any other of the countless endeavors I took on during my long career, but I thought you might enjoy my story… That aside, and having been there once before, I’d also LOVE to win the trip to Punta Cana, ha!!! And as per the chat we had back stage in Charlottetown this summer Dave, good luck with the Caribbean shows, and your career… All your ongoing success is the fruit of your hard work over the years, and couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy… Cheers…

Wayne…

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