Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited North Texas to recognize Dallas police officers.
The officers weren’t recognized for their service in the city of Dallas. Instead, Abbott focused on the department's work during and after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
The people who were recognized on Tuesday not only signed up to serve and protect the Dallas community, but they’re also part of the Texas National Guard and made a big impact during the state’s worst natural disaster.
It was Gov. Abbott who activated the entire Texas National Guard last August, calling all 12,000 to action to help save a region underwater. Twenty of them were from the Dallas Police Department.
“It didn’t matter if you were black or white or Asian or Hispanic. It didn’t matter what your religion. It didn’t matter what country you were from. Didn’t matter what your politics were,” Abbott said. “All that mattered is you are a Texan and, by God, there is going to be a Texan there to help rescue you.”
Their roles varied, but the National Guardsmen and women were vital to the search and rescue and the long, painful recovery.
Dallas Police Officer Daniel Kim worked to coordinate and restock desperately needed supplies.
“A couple of times I had a chance to go into the high water areas,” he recalled. “And it was really sad seeing all those homes destroyed and lives destroyed.”
Kim’s wife was close to giving birth when he got the call the call to serve. It was difficult to leave. But in the end, it was rewarding.
Dallas Police Sgt. Jonathan McMillion spent two and a half weeks in the Harvey-ravaged area. And with time, comes perspective.
“You look back and it’s just a great sense of accomplishment,” he said. “It’s one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had as a national guardsman for the state of Texas.”