Police salute comes in writing

Young rodeo competitor Pake Glover, a student at Whitebead, shows off the shirt he wore at a recent rodeo event to honor law enforcement officers and departments.

A big rodeo salute for law enforcement is right there in writing and right there on a shirt worn proudly these days by a Whitebead third-grader.

In fact, it's eight-year-old Pake Glover and his parents who thought about the theme for a rodeo event he was participating in and came up with the special tribute printed out – literally – on his shirt.

There are several names of individual officers and more than 20 law enforcement departments listed, including Pauls Valley and Maysville, right there on a blue shirt he wore while at the recent M.R.C.A. Rodeo Finals in Vernon, Texas.

“Police officers deserve respect and I am happy to honor them,” Pake said.

His mother, Toni Simon, said the idea for the shirt and salute to law enforcement came when Pake was planning to compete in the recent rodeo event – something he's done since he was three.

“The last night at finals they do a kind of theme,” Simon said. “This year parents got the idea of honoring community helpers, like firefighters, police officers, doctors, anybody they wanted to support.

“We thought it would be a good idea to honor the police. We know a lot of police officers, so we got a blue shirt and decided to print names right on the shirt.”

Simon then posted an online request for people to submit the names of officers and police departments to go right there on Pake's shirt.

“We went online and asked that if anybody wanted to honor law enforcement they knew, so they could post the names that we could then put on the shirt,” she said.

A whole list of names came throughout the month of August, including one from the police chaplain of Pauls Valley's department requesting the group as a whole be listed on the shirt. That one is now shown on the shirt's collar.

“Some were for the names of whole departments, some are individual officers and some are retired officers.

“We got some pretty cool responses.”

Other responses came Pake's way, such as the thank you letters and packages from various police departments. That includes a challenge coin from a police station in Dallas, Texas, and Mustang, along with a few department patches.

During his time in junior rodeo Pake competes in such events as barrel racing, team roping, goat tying and breakaway roping.

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