EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – “Bless the living while honoring the fallen.” That’s what one Texas chaplain and his dog Molly are doing as a way to give back and help those who dedicate their lives to ‘helping us.’
Chaplain Ron Leonard, who has been a Chaplain for 12 years, moved to Texas about a year and a half ago and said he, and Molly, wanted to do more. so they started traveling around to show those in law enforcement appreciation,
“What we try to do is try to honor the fallen by blessing the living. We are able to give these goody bags to the officers and its simply a way of saying we care and your life matters.
We actually just go up to them in the field or roll call. We give them the goody bags and they say thank you. It has a card in it that says ‘officers we need you’ and its really just neat. Their emotions come up, some of them have tears trickling down their face. They are just so excited that people will care. As you know this year has been a very difficult year with the pandemic and the war on police. It has been a bad situation and we just try to bring that joy. Molly just goes up and they pet Molly – the vet says when a dog or cat licks you a happy chemical is released in your body.”
Rev. Leonard said that Molly has been doing this for nine years and has been on more than 5,000 visits. He added that the officers love the unconditional love of a dog.
Molly and Rev. Leonard also show up to funerals when an officer is killed in the line of duty, to offer comfort and support.
“It’s a thing of just doing good as a chaplain. I depend on God for my source and its good to be able to go out and do good works for other people. I told people before they say ‘Ron why do you do this?’ and I say I want to make a difference and I want to matter. Molly is my champion with me and she puts the cutting edge on this thing. It’s just an opportunity to make a difference and matter.”
Rev. Leonard also volunteers for Tunnel 2 Towers, an organization that works with families who have kids 16 and younger – to pay off the mortgage when their loved one – a law enforcement officer – is killed in the line of duty.
“I am helping to identify people especially in the estate of Texas that have been tragically killed in the line of duty. Texas is tragically almost the number one state of losing officers, so I help identify who they are and send it to the people at the home office and they take it form there.”
Rev. Leonard says that even the smallest gesture can have a big impact,
“I would love [people] to visit the site and see what they can do. If they are prompted to want to get involved, there are a lot of opportunities there. I would just encourage them to every time they see a police officer to say thank you. Thank you for your service or if they see a first responder – say thank you. They don’t how much that means to the officers. They hear the negative so much and what they see over a lifetime of being a police officer is unfathomable. We don’t know what they go through. It just encourages them to know that there is somebody that cares and their life matters.”
If you would like to help provide goodies to law enforcement click here.