The final part of the Bogota Police Emergency Service Youth Academy " Black Friday" duty day was a time for the Cadets to try and process the events of the last few hours. After a final hose down the Cadets were order to see Sgt Lynch on their way back to base camp. He stood in their path in order to meet each Cadet as they passed by. He extended his hand and offered his congratulations for their effort and dedication , not only to the Academy , but to themselves for going beyond themselves to find out things they may have never known. A slow line of yellow shirts found their way back to the shelter now in shadows of emergency lighting. Some found their way back to their Squads. Other were asked to sit as a triage table to have minor cuts & bruises attended to, or get closer to the light in order to help them to warm up a little more. When the Cadets first had a chance to sit down, cold, wet, physically and emotionally drain they took in liquid and tried to comprehend what had just happen.
Slowly an energy return to each Cadet as they saw their fellow Cadets make it up the path to join the other survivors. Soon the fatigue was forgotten as they now started to congratulate each other and talked about their shared ordeal. When all the Squads were back together a competion of which could out shout the other echoed in the shelter. After the Cadets were allowed to voice any pent up emotions, calm was then restored. One final lineup was needed as the Squad formed up again. This time it was Sgt Lynch to do the talking. he did it not as a group, but to each Cadet face to face. He wanted to now address the individual in their own private moment. At the end of the brief conversation each Cadet was handed a small package. In this was their own "Challenge Coin" on a chain. This was started with Class 04 as a physical symbol of experiences as part of the Bogota Police Emergency Service Youth Academy Class 05. After the last coin was handed out the Cadets, still in formation, had a chance to absorb what the last six days has done to them. Some in quiet and stoic solitude, other trying their best to control their emotions. They were finally able to fall-out and help clean the basecamp the return to the vans that will bring them home. The caravan of vans with Cadets, cars with other Instructors, and other support vehicles roared through the night on their way south. As they arrive back in Bogota the survivors were greeted by Parents wanting to see the damage done to their Children. Both found each other with smiles and stories to tell.
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