Purchase Any Shields of Strength Item, and 2 Law Enforcement Officers Will Receive a Thin Blue Line Dog Tag
Law Enforcement Appreciation: Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength Show ‘God’s Word Matters’
BEAUMONT, Texas, Jan. 6, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength inscribed with scripture, custom-designed in response to requests from police officers, have caught the public eye as meaningful, distinctive gifts for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day by secular and faith groups this January and year-round.
This month, the Christian jewelry company Shields of Strength www.shieldsofstrength.com partners with the nonprofit Point 27 point27.org to give two Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength dog tag necklaces to law enforcement officers for each Shield of Strength jewelry item of any kind purchased through January.
“Departments that have suffered 2016 line-of-duty deaths will be considered priority,” according to Shields of Strength founder Kenny Vaughan. “After a year of tragic police shootings, pierced with controversy and conflicts over whose lives matter, the scripture on each piece of jewelry shows that ‘God’s Word Matters’ in bringing peace and hope to the law enforcement and to all of us.”
In 2015, the company received requests from police officers to design an American Flag Thin Blue Line dog tag with the inscription from Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they will be called children of God,'”
Later, the Thin Blue Line Flag Cross design was added to the line, engraved with Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
In 2016, following the police ambush killings in July, Point 27 awarded the Dallas Police and Baton Rouge Police Departments Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength for every sworn officer.
According to Point 27 Director, U.S. Army (Ret.) Col. David Dodd, more than 22,500 of the Thin Blue Line pieces are being worn across the country.
Vaughan says, in 1998, he founded Shields of Strength, compelled to share the scriptures on dog tags that helped him overcome his fear and win the national water-ski jump championship in 1996. Vaughan’s company gave Dodd custom military Shields of Strength for the troops in his command before they deployed to Afghanistan following 9/11.
Dodd, after his military retirement, founded Point 27 with a mission to share God’s word on Shields of Strength with members of the military, veterans and first responders and others.
On October 20, 2016 CrazyFitBros partnered with Point 27 and Shields of Strength for one simple mission: to share the Word of God with Veterans and thank them for their service. Nathan and Todd Tetreault are the founders of CrazyFitBros, brothers, Veterans, and servants of Jesus Christ.
Nathan and Todd Tetreault pray with Veterans
Nathan and Todd reached out to Shields of Strength through the help of their friend and brother in Christ, James Ellis and Blake Bradley. That eventually put them in touch with Colonel David Dodd, US Army Retired who serves as the Executive Director of Point 27, a Non-Profit organization with a mission to share God’s Word with members of the Armed Forces, Veterans, Military Families, First Responders, Athletes, and people battling chronicle illness. Point 27 graciously partnered up with the brothers to be apart of the 2nd Annual Los Angeles, California Veterans Administration Stand Down. An event where Veterans are offered medical, dental, and legal support, hot meals, blankets, and many other services to help better their lives’. More information can be found at https://www.va.gov/homeless/events.asp.
Shields of Strength Necklaces for Veterans
Point 27 gave 800 Shields of Strength dog tags, engraved with scripture, for the Veterans. The dog tags were presented by Todd and Nathan with a firm hand shake and a sincere “Thank you for your service” greeting. Todd and Nathan both said, “everyone needs to know Jesus and know that He saves.” God was definitely on the move as several Veterans said that the Shields of Strength booth was the most talked about booth at the event. “All glory goes to God, said the brothers.” There were roughly 700 Veterans touched with the Word of God as they each received their dog tag gift. Hands were laid, voices were lifted up in prayer, and love was shared as Veterans gathered to receive their dog tags and a simple “thank you for their service.”
It was a successful day. The brothers were grateful to be ready, available, and equipped to serve the Lord. “It was such a blessing to hear what God has done in the lives’ of so many of these Veterans,” said the brothers. “The stories they shared about how Psalm 91:1-2 carried them through the Vietnam War were moving stories of inspiration and triumph.” Among hundreds of Veterans was a Purple Heart recipient Navy SEAL from the Persian Gulf War era that shared his experience; to include, how he lost all his brothers in his team to the war and how God saved him.
Crazyftbros with Veterans, standing is 90 years old WWII Veteran LeRoy Eckels
Unexpectedly, the brothers were asked if they wanted some help. Little did they know it was going to be a WWII Veteran who volunteered his time to help at the booth. Ninety year old, LeRoy Eckels volunteered his time to serve the Lord and hand out Shields of Strength to Veterans. LeRoy is a Believer and follower of Jesus Christ. LeRoy saw the blake Proverbs 27:17 Shields of Strength T-shirts and asked to help at the booth. “It was such a blessing to have LeRoy help us,” said the brothers. “To see Veterans of different eras come together and share their stories and more importantly, their love for Jesus Christ is what it’s all about. It’s amazing what God does when we obediently listen and desire to serve Him. All glory be to God.”
Special thanks goes out to Shields of Strength, David Dodd, Blake Bradley, James Ellis, Michale Johnson, LeRoy Eckles, and Clyph Jean-Phillipe.
Thin Blue Line Dog Tags Honor Baton Rouge Police Officers
BATON ROUGE, La., Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — This week, a national water-ski jump champion from Texas and a retired Army colonel from Georgia partnered to honor the Baton Rouge law enforcement agencies that lost officers, and the families of the fallen, in the July 17 shooting in Baton Rouge.
The Georgia-based nonprofit, Point 27, sponsored the gift of 1,650 Thin Blue Line silver scripture-inscribed Shields of Strength to the Baton Rouge Police Department and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, October 18.
3 Baton Rouge Law Enforcement Officers Murdered While Protecting Others
Fold Flag Pendant Necklaces Honor Gold Star Families of Fallen Officers
Point 27 also gave Folded Flag Necklaces for the family members of the fallen officers and deputy.
Kenny Vaughan, founder of the Beaumont-based company Shields of Strength, made the presentation at the Baton Rouge Police Station on behalf of U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) David Dodd, director of Point 27.
The Thin Blue Line dog tags feature an American Flag on the front with one of the stripes a bright metallic blue line. The back of the dog tag is engraved with Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they will be called children of God.”
Thin Blue Line Dog Tag Engraved with Matthew 5:9 by Shields of Strength
The Folded Flag Necklaces are engraved with John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Folded Flag Necklace Engraved with John 15:13 by Shields of Strength
Vaughan said his company designed the custom Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength in 2015. “We could have never imagined the attacks on police across the nation that would come in the months that have followed.”
In a letter, which Vaughan read Tuesday, Dodd thanked the Baton Rouge officers and deputies “for their leadership, courage and perseverance in the face of great adversity.”
Vaughan says, in 1996, his faith finally trumped his fear when he won the national water-ski jump championship. Later, he had the scriptures that were written on his ski-tow rope handles engraved on dog tags.
Shields of Stength and Point 27
He founded Shields of Strength in 1998.
Dodd commanded one of the first battalions deployed to Afghanistan following 9/11, equipping each of the soldiers in his command with a Shield of Strength. After his retirement, Dodd founded Point 27 with a mission to share God’s word with members of the military, veterans and first responders and others.
In August, Point 27 with Shields of Strength honored the Dallas Police Department and families of the fallen officers from the July 7 police shooting in Dallas.
Casting a Vote is a civic responsibility, and I believe every member of the armed forces and every Veteran should consider voting to be a personal duty.
The oath we took when entering the military said, in part, “I … will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
Voting is an act of supporting the Constitution, and it is a means for service members and veterans to perform their duty.
In the same oath, we pledged to obey the orders of the president of the United States. As the commander in chief, the president has the authority to commit U.S. forces to combat operations.
Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and military families have a personal stake in the competence, judgment and character of the commander in chief, and voting is the proper vehicle to voice their opinion and choice for civilian leadership.
What’s at Stake
Selecting a commander in chief has far-reaching implications for troops, including rules of engagement, funding for military benefits, disposition of captured terrorists, characterization of terrorist attacks against military personnel, treatment of deserters, and personnel policies. It also includes roles for women in combat, homosexual and transgender policies, and more.
It is the commander in chief who nominates the secretary of defense, the secretaries of the military services, and other political appointees. It is through these appointees that the commander in chief’s policies are implemented across the Department of Defense.
Just as important are the commander in chief’s selections for other key government agencies, including the State Department, CIA, FBI, NSA, Supreme Court and Department of Veterans Affairs. Each of these organizations deeply and directly impacts the lives of troops and military families.
Federal, State, Local Elections
In addition to voting for a presidential candidate this November, 33 senators, 435 congressmen, plus state and local officials will be on the ballot. Each of these officials will have an impact on troops and their families.
Congress will approve the defense budget and VA funding. State and local officials govern schools, first responders and tax issues that directly impact military families.
Military personnel have a responsibility to make informed decisions when selecting men and women for public office.
Be an Informed Voter
John F. Kennedy said, “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”
The Army defines duty as, “Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care.”
Prior to voting, troops should educate themselves on the issues and the candidates. One valuable resource is GovTrack, a web-based tool that allows one to quickly see how incumbent congressmen and senators vote on issues such as VA funding, defense funding, funding for foreign aid, removal of sanctions against hostile governments, etc.
Register to Vote. It’s Easy
In order to vote, service members must register. It’s a very easy process. Simply complete the Federal Post Card Application using the FPCA online assistant, or pick up a hard-copy version from your Voting Assistance Officer or nearest U.S. Embassy or consular office.
Double-check that your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you.
‘A Vote Is Like a Rifle’
Theodore Roosevelt said, “A vote is like a rifle: Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
Members of the armed forces have exceptional character, and they adhere to time-honored codes of conduct and values, including duty, honor, integrity, loyalty, personal courage, respect and selfless service.
As we approach Election Day, it is essential for troops, veterans and their families to register to vote; become informed about their local, state and federal candidates; and educate their friends and family.
We all swore to support and defend the Constitution, and our oath has no expiration date. Do your duty and vote.
By: David Dodd
Retired Army Col. David Dodd served more than 27 years in the military, including two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He serves as the director of operations at Shields of Strength, and on the Board of Directors of Point 27 outreach to veterans, military families, first responders, athletes and the chronically ill.
The feedback from those who were strengthened and encouraged by the Shields of Strength continues to pour in.
C.O.P.S. to Point 27: “You made a huge impact.”
Chris Kahmke, a retired Law Enforcement Officer and current Director of Development for the nonprofit organization Concern of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) arranged for the distribution of the Thin Blue Line Shields to families who attended the National Police Week events in Washington DC. Kahmke said that the necklaces meant a great deal to the family members of Fallen Officers.
Kahmke said that every attendee at the C.O.P.S. conference that week was given a Thin Blue Line Dog Tag Necklace; and that the Folded Flag Necklaces will be presented to families attending the C.O.P.S. first-year survivor retreats.
In an email to Point 27, Kahmke wrote: “I want you to know, I saw child after child, spouses, co-workers wearing the necklaces throughout the conference. I have been approached by Chapter Presidents and Survivors asking who was behind this token of generosity. So on behalf of all our current and past survivors, thank you. You made a huge impact. You gave our survivors a daily reminder of their sacrifices, that they could wear in honor of their fallen officer(s).”
Fallen Police Officer Gold Star Family Members wearing Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength
National Police Week
National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community. Principal organizers of National Police Week held in Washington DC, include the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which sponsors the annual Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial; the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, which organizes the Peace Officers Memorial Day Service at the U.S. Capitol; and Concerns of Police Survivors, which holds the National Police Survivors’ Conference.
Statistics show that, on average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall
For attendees, one of the strongest centerpieces of Police Week is the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., that features the names of the nearly 19,000 Law Enforcement Officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
The Memorial is designed with four bronze lions, two male and two female; each watching over a pair of lion cubs.
Below each lion is carved a different quotation:
“In valor there is hope,” from Tacitus
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion,” Proverbs 28:1
A quote from President George H.W. Bush, “Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”
The fourth quote is comprised of the words of a surviving widow of a Fallen Police Officer, Vivian Eney Cross. The quote reads: “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.”
Fallen Police Officer Gold Star Family at Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington, DC
Subsequent to the National Police Week, Point 27 has been busy encouraging Law Enforcement Officers and family members of Fallen Officers with gifts of Thin Blue Line Shields of Strength dog tag necklaces and Folded Flag Pendant Necklaces. Gifts have been made to the Dallas, Beaumont, and Arlington, Texas Police Departments, the Kennesaw, Marietta, and Forsyth, Georgia Police Departments, the Santa Barbara, CA, Police Department, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. God’s Word engraved on a simple piece of metal is a powerful reminder of hope and strength. These Words encourage and strengthen Police Officers and Family Members of Fallen Officers during the toughest of times.
Letter from Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation
Mr. Dodd, sir,
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I received your note enclosed in the box of Shields of Strength necklaces. I would be honored to share what they mean to me and what I hope they will mean to those to whom we distribute them.
First, please, let me thank YOU for your service to our country. I saw from your signature line that you are a retired US Army Colonel. I am proud to be affiliated with you, sir. If there was anything I ever wanted to do, it was to serve my country. I never got the opportunity to do so, but I am grateful to every one of you who did.
Now about the Shields of Strength. I volunteer for the Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation which was established in 2013 after the death of 26 year old Officer Will McGary while in the line of duty. Will’s mother is my best friend. I became very actively involved in the Foundation in early 2015.
This past May, I accompanied the McGary family to Washington, D.C. to the annual fallen law enforcement officer’s candlelight vigil and visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall where we saw Will’s name inscribed for all of eternity along with the other brave officers who gave their lives. It was emotionally overwhelming and touching.
We were registering for C.O.P.S. events that second day we were there when I was handed a thin blue line necklace. I have an instant attraction to anything bearing the American flag, so I was immediately drawn to the necklace. So many things about it grabbed my attention that I stood there for some time looking it over. First of all, it was a dog tag necklace. This, along with the flag, immediately paid homage, in my mind, to our US veteran heroes. The addition of the thin blue line in the flag reminded me that our law enforcement officers are all that stand between good people and the whims of a lawless society. Anyone stepping into the role of law enforcement officer is truly placing himself in harm’s way in this present world and that entitles him/her to great respect from the rest of us. Perhaps the most emotional part of this gift, to me, was when I turned it over and saw that beautiful verse, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” My heart was truly touched by this. Amidst all the loss, the grieving families I was surrounded by, the pain I was bearing with my dearest friend of the loss of her only son, it was like a quiet reminder from heaven that Will died keeping the peace in the greatest country in the world. He was doing what he was passionate about doing when he was killed. He was protecting his fellow man and his fellow officers surrounding the scene of an accident when he was struck by an impaired driver. If it had not been Will that had been struck that night, it is unknown how many other lives may have been lost instead, and if I know Will, he would not have tolerated that.
Will was an especially blessed peacemaker, because he chose organ donation during his lifetime, and we know of three lives who were changed and saved because of this choice. Two teenage girls received his kidneys, and a middle-aged man received his heart. They attend our events as they are able. So you see that this blessed peacemaker never stopped giving, even in death. What a legacy for a 26 year old man! We chose to turn this tragedy into a triumph by establishing the Officer Will McGary Memorial Foundation. We support law enforcement officers and the youth of our community. I hope you’ll visit our website to find out more about Will and about us.
As for those we intend to distribute the Shields of Strength to, it my hope that, whatever their situations, they will be reminded of the same things I was. I know, as patrons of a car show fundraiser event, it is likely that many of them have never been touched by tragedy such as this. I hope that, after viewing the slideshow we will have displayed, they will be solemnly reminded to respect our law enforcement officers and to honor those that have given their lives to the cause of peacekeeping. I hope they will realize that God blessed them by allowing them to be citizens of this country of ours. I pray God will use the scripture on the necklace to speak to their hearts, for we know His Word never returns to Him void, but it accomplishes that which he sends it to do. I believe this.
I gave my necklace to my 16-year-old son when I returned from D.C. and he was moved by it. These necklaces are in every way the kind of item with which we wish to represent our Foundation. They speak of God, honor, and American heroes and that, to me, about sums it up.
I thank you very much for your very generous gift, and I hope that in days to come, we can get to the place that we can afford to regularly purchase these from you as part of our giveaways. I saw a variety of styles on your website that I loved as well and I hope the time will come that we are able to place a nice, big order. Until then, I have prayed that God will bless the work of your hands.
I am attaching a couple photos at the Wall in D.C.
Memorial Wall for Fallen Police Officers, Washington, D.C.
Officer Will McGary Family Members at Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
I will send photos of our event after it takes place in September. God bless you.