Brazos County first responders honored for commitment to community

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 2:57 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Hilton College Station was full of Brazos Valley heroes Tuesday. The Noon Lions Club held its 10th annual Honoring Our Heroes Luncheon to celebrate first responders, their families and the sacrifices both make daily.

One of those first responders in attendance was Lt. Jason James, who has been with the Bryan Police Department for 24 years. He said every day is different as he never knows what the next call is going to be. One of his fondest memories is helping to find a missing child.

“Just that mom being so appreciative of finding the kid and being there, angry with the kid but appreciative of everything and just relieved,” James said. “Being able to help that mom, you’re like we know we did something good.”

James believes calls like that can make the biggest difference.

“It’s about believing that you’re doing the right thing out there and that you’re changing somebody’s life,” James said.

First responders from across the Brazos Valley attended the Honoring Our Heroes Luncheon.
First responders from across the Brazos Valley attended the Honoring Our Heroes Luncheon.(KBTX's Caleb Britt)

Ron Gay with the Noon Lions Club said first responders go the extra mile daily but have done so even more throughout the pandemic.

“I can’t think of another group of people that their instinct is to run towards danger instead of away from danger,” Gay said.

The lieutenant believes first responders aren’t the only ones who deserve praise for what they do, but their families as well for making extraordinary sacrifices.

“With the families go through when they walk out that door, it could go good, could go bad, but your goal is to get back home and they’re always there waiting for you to get home,” James said.

During the luncheon, first responders and their families heard a keynote address from Kathryn Clark Childers who was one of the first five women hired in 1970 in the U.S. Secret Service. Some of her tasks included investigating counterfeit, working undercover and protecting the president and other world leaders. She was also charged with protecting the Kennedy children, Caroline and John Jr., when traveling with the former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Although she was one of the first women in that role, she said she’s grateful they’re not the last.

“We took all the challenges they threw at us and succeeded,” Childers said. “Other women climbed on our shoulders and became successful in both the secret service and in law enforcement in general.”

One of her mantras is “do it scared,” which she said is what she did during her time in the Secret Service and what first responders do daily.

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