I know this does not belong here, but this forum is read the most. On May 1, 2014, Alaska State Troopers Scott Johnson and Gabe Rich were slain by a young man in Tanana. They were killed while responding to a conflict over a piece of furniture. They were killed by a coward, shot from behind.
Two good men died because they cared, no, they dared to do the right thing. Two fathers died because they were brave enough to stand up for justice. Two women lost their partners due to the senseless actions by two people over something that was ridiculous.
I was there that day helping one of the AST SERT members. I was there when we got the news about who was killed. I listened to the stories from the team that responded to bring their slain brothers home. I went to the Fairbanks Trooper Post later and wrote a note to my friend Scott and laid flowers at the flag pole. I did not know what else to do. I went back every night until the ceremony, just thinking about not ever seeing my friend again.
It has been two long years for the family and friends of Gabe and Scott. I celebrated Scott's life today, and mourned his passing. I urge each of you to find a way to tell an officer thank you. Do not wait until we lose another one to do something so simple, yet so powerful.
A hero is not that because of how he died, but rather, he is a hero because of how he lived. Scott and Gabe, you are missed. Rest well.