Spouses of first responders reflect on recent tragedies

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The spouses of Rio Rancho Police officers and fire fighters held their 2nd Annual First Responder Appreciation Day Sunday. It was a day filled with emotions and support for first responders and their significant others.

“There are some nights I lay awake in bed and I wonder if this is the night I’m never going to see him again, that my 2 year old is going to have to live the rest of her life without a father,” said Casey Canfield, the wife of a fire fighter.

This is the reality for Canfield every single day. Because of this, she does everything she can to support her fire fighter husband.

“You offer a shoulder for them, if they don’t want to talk right then you just leave it alone, but you give them a safe space to talk,” she said.

At the event today, it was clear they’re also there for each other.

“Everybody was with me. I had them there whether they were in court or not, everybody was with me. I felt the love,” said Julie Benner, the wife of slain Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Benner.

For her, the murder of her husband is something she has to live with every single day, but she credits these women for being her ultimate support system and helping her move on.

“We’re here and we’re alive and we have to carry on living. We have to carry on living and try to make the changes that need to be changed.”

The recent acts of violence against first responders can hit especially hard, but these women stand strong.

“When something goes wrong, we grab each other and we hug each other, and we love each other. We love our husbands very much and we’re very thankful for what everybody does,” said Erin Rogers, the wife of a police officer.

All the proceeds from this event will be donated to the 10-82 Fund.

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