Over and over we see law enforcement officers attacked and berated for doing a terribly difficult job. Here’s a story of one state trooper who went out of his way to be a blessing to a family he didn’t even know.
On Halloween night, Georgia State Trooper Nathan Bradley responded to the scene of a deadly car crash. Donald and Crystal Howard died in the crash as they were returning from the store, bringing Halloween face paint and candy home to their four children.
When Trooper Bradley arrived at the Howard’s home to inform the family, he was met by the heart-breaking sight of 4 children ages 6 to 13, dressed up in costumes and ready for trick-or-treat. He couldn’t bear to destroy the festivity with the awful news he had to share.
Speaking with the children’s grandmother who lives in Florida, he decided to hold off on telling the children until she arrived. In an interview, Bradley told Atlanta’s 11Alive, “The first thing I said was, ‘Hey let’s go get something to eat.’ They said, ‘My parents will be here soon.’ I said, ‘Your Grandma wants you to hang out with me ’til she gets here.'”
The children had no family in the area and their grandmother was on the way. In the mean time though, they would normally have had to stay at the county jail until she arrived. In another interview, Bradley stated, “It was touching and I didn’t want to leave them there, and I did not want to leave them sitting in a DFACS (Department of Family and Child Services) office, so I did what I thought was right”.
So this good trooper took the kids out for a meal, keeping their spirits up, dodging questions about their parents and assuring them their grandmother was on the way to be with them. After the meal he took them to the Georgia State Patrol Post in Monroe, where, joined by another family, they watched Disney films and shared plenty of candy and popcorn.
When the grandmother arrived after a 7-hour drive, she broke the awful news to her grandchildren. As their next of kin, the children will be moving to live with her. Feeling a true sense of compassion and care for these 4 kids, Trooper Bradley has set up a gofundme account to help them as they work through the terrible struggles that are facing them at this time.
It’s a sad situation, but it proves that there are very good people out there still, and that some of the best wear a uniform and a badge.