Your respect for law enforcement can be part of your legacy and your life story, and it will have an impact on police officers for years to come. See how people like you who have made this special gift in a will, trust or by beneficiary designation are inspiring citizens to appreciate law enforcement, honoring our law enforcement heroes and making it safer for them to serve.
Growing up, Ken Castello was always surrounded by role models in the law enforcement community – close friends, acquaintances through church, and even his next-door neighbor, to name just a few. But it was one North Carolina state trooper who really impacted him the most.
You see, in 1980 at only age eighteen, Ken lost his father and was unsure of what direction his life would take. It was then that his state trooper friend took Ken under his wing, mentoring him and showing him what it meant to help others and care about those less fortunate. It was during that time that Ken knew exactly what he wanted to do.
From the beginning, he had an incredible sense of the dangers of serving in law enforcement, His training officer-to-be, North Carolina State Trooper Raymond Worley, was killed in the line of duty just two days before Ken’s graduation from the academy. But rather than decide not to continue on his path, Ken wanted to honor his legacy and carry on the very same duties Trooper Worley had sworn to fulfill. The following year, Ken was asked to escort the Worley family to Washington, DC for Police Officer’s Memorial Day.
Recalling the second escorting officer and family placing a carnation in the memorial wreath, and Ken standing in symbolically for the fallen officer, Ken says “…it was an emotional, very proud moment. And from that point on, I knew there was no greater way to honor our heroes in law enforcement than that ceremony and the events around the ceremony.”
Ken served for 30 years on the force and he has attended many National Police Weeks in Washington DC since that very first ceremony in which he honored Trooper Worley. In fact, every time he’s in DC, he visits and walks through the memorial.
At the end of the day, he feels very lucky to be here and remember those he served with who have fallen. “At any time in my years [of service], I could’ve been on that wall…It holds a very special place in my heart, it’s incredibly hard to describe.”
Reflections like this on his career and the challenges that law enforcement officers experience are part of the driving force behind his heartfelt support of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. There’s a sense of kinship he feels in supporting the Memorial Fund’s mission to honor fallen heroes, knowing that maybe “your family has been in the same situation” as countless others in the law enforcement community.
That’s part of why he’s stayed so involved year after year, knowing that the Memorial Fund’s new Law Enforcement Museum will tell the stories of these officers and their families, and what law enforcement is truly about – “helping mankind to make this world a better place to live.”
You can learn more about the ways you can also support law enforcement officers and their families, just like Ken does.