Community support following tragedy helps NHP heal

Local News

Although the healing journey after 1 October hasn’t been easy, the outpouring of support from the community has been a blessing for many.

A group of NHP troopers was recently recognized for being unbreakable.

Country singer Jason Aldean and DJ Bobby Bones honored Las Vegas’ first responders and that tribute went viral.

Some of those first responders on stage were Nevada Highway Patrol troopers who shared their story which is one of courage and resilience.

Vegas Strong, it’s not just a hashtag, it’s what Las Vegas has become and now we are Vegas Stronger.

“When I think of the term Vegas Strong I think of the resiliency and the sense of community that happened in this city after the tragic events last year,” said Travis Smaka, public information officer, NHP Southern Command.

“Everybody coming together from all over and being one and then taking care of each other,” said Sgt. Shawn Eckert, NHP.

But despite the culture it’s developed for Las Vegas many can agree that Vegas Strong will live in our lives forever.

“It’s definitely bitter sweet,” Smaka said. “All of us experience and witnessed a horrendous act of violence and tragedy and despair that we will never forget.”

At this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, country singer Jason Aldean, who was the singer who happened to be on stage when the shooting erupted, paid tribute to victims and first responders. 

“All of us were absolutely blown away by the amount of heart shown by this community towards us,” Smaka said.

“It was very humbling,” said Sgt. Eckert, NHP.  “Especially being that was the only reason I went to the concert that night to see Jason Aldean and then not to even get to see the full concert was humbling to be invited there and to be up there with him.”

Among the best memory for these troopers was the standing ovation they received when they say they were just “doing their job.”

“It is important that the people know that we are people. We cry. We laugh. We believe. We’re a member of this community,” Smaka said.

“We want the community to know that we’re here for them and it’s awesome that they have our backs too,” Sgt. Eckert said.

The troopers say they hope people continue to come together like they did for 1 October.

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