My love for the RCMP has its roots in my earliest memory when I was about 3yrs old.
As a little guy I was playing in the back of my dad’s station wagon while we were driving on the highway in a snowstorm around Christmas time. There were no such things as seat belts for anything but the two front seats. Somehow my dad lost control and the car slid and fishtailed right into the opposing ditch. We were all okay, but I had been playing pinball in the back and I was the ball; there were no ergonomically friendly pads to bump on.
A police officer had been following us and saw the whole thing. He immediately came to our window to see if we were all okay.
I misinterpreted his actions for help with what I thought was the cause that put us in the ditch. I yelled from the back of the station wagon, with all of my heart in my three-year-old frame, “Bad man! Bad man! Bad man!”
My dad embarrassed with the officer at the window said, “No Philip, policemen are our friends.”
Apparently that stuck. The next time my mom and I were out I walked up to a policeman and told him, “My dad says you are my friend.”
Many years later I was able to have a good look at the mission and values of the RCMP as my daughter wanted to join.
When she committed I started looking for a way to be involved. When the door opened in Fort McMurray I walked through.
I have been a bi-vocational pastor my whole career and a chaplain for the last 13 years.
It is only in the last three years that I have not been involved at a church leadership level.
Our whole family is involved in Front Line or servicing the Front Line. My wife grief and loss specialist and Victim Services Support Worker, Two daughters now RCMP, another daughter Advanced Paramedic and Fire fighter, our son an EMT Fire fighter, and then our daughter with a Masters in Counseling.
We love and support the Front Line!
I pay my bills by driving Coach for a living, but Chaplaincy is my love.
Phil Sovdi, 780-715-6905, firstname.lastname@example.org