WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) -Darrell Waddleton’s journey to serve others began when he first moved to Texoma from San Antonio. His father was stationed in Wichita Falls in 1979 just after the tornado hit.
“I was really wondering why we got stationed here and it was just a running joke in the family like you made someone mad. I just couldn’t believe that wind can do so much damage,” Waddleton said.
At the start of the millennium he put on the badge.
“I wanted to be in the military," Waddleton said. "My father served in the military. A lot of my family members served in the military but I figured this could be a good way for me to serve the community I was in.”
Waddleton said he thanks those we honor during Black History Month for that privilege.
“The civil rights leaders paved the way for so many minorities in law enforcement, the military, first responders across the country,” Waddleton said.
He said he continues to take inspiration from civil rights leaders and works to help others any way he can.
“Serving the community is anything from helping someone change a tire, holding the door for an old lady, just being there for someone else,” Waddleton said.
His dedication helped him achieve the rank of Sergeant. He tries to inspire his men to always persevere.
“Being able to stand there in front of your other officers and you let them know we’re in this together,” Waddleton said. "If one of us goes home sore, all of us are going to go home sore and tired. That will give people courage. That will make people see that ‘you know what? we’re against a lot of people right now but we’re in this together.’”
Waddleton said the greatest lesson the civil rights leaders taught him is to always persevere.