The Greatest Pleasure In Life Is Doing What People Say You Cannot
Author: The Thin Blue Lawn
Why would anyone want to know who I am? It’s a question I have asked myself every single day. I’m not a celebrity or anyone famous. I am just a simple dude from a simple town. I could be considered a “millennial” with my birthday being in 1986. I am not saying I don’t belong in this category, but often times “millennials” are referred to as “lazy or entitled”. That is definitely not what I consider myself to be. So, who am I? I am lot’s of things. I am a Football Champion, Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, State Trooper K9 Handler, Husband of a Business Owner, and Father to 5 kids. Most importantly, I am Mike Terry!
I was born and raised in the great State of Utah back in July of 1986. I was born in a household with two loving parents. About a year after I was born, my dad started his career in Law Enforcement for a small agency, just west of Salt Lake City. In 1989, he took his career to a small town in Eastern Utah to work with the Utah Highway Patrol. It was in that small town where I learned to ride a bike in the alleyway behind our home. My dad taught me how to peddle that bright red bike as he held onto the seat behind me while I peddled. It didn’t take me long to look back and see my dad had let go of the seat and I was doing it on my own (you’re dang right I crashed once I realized he let go); however, this experience helped me become who I am today. I have always had the help of my parents, especially my dad. I have always tried to walk in his footsteps and make him proud. My dad letting go of my seat that day in the alleyway only paved the road ahead for my future. My dad taught me I could do things by myself and eventually he would have to let go, even if I would eventually fall. He also taught me he would always be watching me and encouraging me to get back on and keep trying.
In 1993, we moved back to that small town just west of Salt Lake City. My dad took a transfer with the Utah Highway Patrol and it was a transfer which would make me the person I am today. We lived in a modest home on a street called Kingston Drive. I have pretty much learned all of my life lessons from Kingston Drive. In 1994, I was able to start my football career. I was probably crazy to put those football pads on, because I was literally the smallest guy on the field. I never wanted to let my teammates know I was scared to take a hit, so I always volunteered to take on the biggest guy. It was in 1994 when I earned my nickname “Little Mikey”. I always played on my older brother’s team because I didn’t want to play with anyone else but him. My older brother has always and will always be my best friend. He’s the world’s biggest “dink” but he has a heart of gold. He has always protected me and made sure I fit in with the group, even being the smallest guy. His friends were always my friends. That’s how we grew up. Our little league football team was a group of championship players. We won the state championship 4 of our 5 years playing together. We only lost 4 games out of 50. This type of teamwork and discipline is part of what has shaped Mike Terry. Guess who was there coaching? Yep, my dad. Always.
In 2000, I began my High School day’s! I was able to continue my football career and do many other things. I ran track and I obtained my Eagle Scout Merit Badge. I maintained a 3.4 GPA throughout my 4 years (not great but I was busy). My dad was around but he was pretty busy during my High School years. He was on the Executive Protection Detail for the Governor of Utah. He still remained very active throughout my teen years and ALWAYS provided for our family. My brother and I went through school with pretty much the same guys who played on our little league football team. My junior year in High School we became the football State Champions for our school after 65 years. It was a fun and exciting time! I felt like I was on top of the world. Then, my brother graduated with a huge majority of my friends. They all took off to Southern Utah for College and I was left on Kingston Drive. Luckily, my little brother was entering his freshman year. I was able to get to know him and rely on him more and more. Our age difference was always in the way. I didn’t get much of an opportunity to be “best friend’s” with my little brother while in High School. I graduated and my next major life decision was serving a two year mission for my church.
In 2005, I submitted paperwork to serve a two year mission for my church. I was called to serve in the Florida Orlando Mission. I was also called to speak in the Spanish language. I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah and started what eventually changed my entire perspective on life. I not only learned how to speak Spanish, but I learned how to serve others. I learned how to survive without my parents and my siblings. I actually learned how to survive without leaning on my older brother for 4 years. I became the person I am today. Serving people and dedicating my entire two years to the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a huge turning point on my perspective and role in this world. While in the Missionary Training Center, I served as an Assistant to the Mission President, once I was in Florida I served as a Senior Companion, District leader and finally a Zone Leader. I held several leadership positions and hopefully I was able to help those doing the same work as I was doing. During my service, I had the opportunity to think of what I wanted to do when I returned home from my mission. I knew I needed a career in some type of service position. I always considered becoming a police officer, like my dad. It was always my older brothers dream, as well. It wasn’t necessarily my dream, but it was an honorable position and a position very similar to missionary work. I just wanted to help people and serve them. I didn’t really care what it was.
I returned home from my mission in 2007. I hired on as a Loan Officer for Utah Central Credit Union. I realized quickly what a HUGE mistake that was. It just was not what I was suppose to do. Sitting behind a desk was not Mike Terry’s dream job. I really considered being a police officer more and more. I decided to test for a couple of agencies and I was hired on by the same small town agency my dad started his career at! Talk about following in your dad’s footsteps, right?! Well, January 2008, I started my career in Law Enforcement. I also married my beautiful wife in 2008! Who knew what the future would hold for us. We always would ask ourselves “Where do you think we will be in 5-10 years?” I wish I would have written those goals down, because I sure don’t remember. I was able to do many things with my first Law Enforcement Agency. I served on regular patrol for almost two years. I took a new assignment into a more Community Oriented Policing. I served as a School Resource Officer over a behavioral unit, I was the Youth Court Supervisor, Graffiti Investigator, Lions Quest Instructor (D.A.R.E.), and I also participated on the National Youth Court Advisory Board. I was always looking for new and better opportunities. Heck in 2010, was even able to obtain my Degree in Criminal Justice. Well, I decided to take a transfer to another Police Department in 2012. By this time, I had year old baby girl and we were living life! My wife and I moved out of our first home and lived moved to a town house near my new police agency for nearly a year. In October of 2013, our entire world was flipped upside down and the biggest challenge of our marriage struck us.
I was still looking for further opportunities with my career and I decided to test for the Utah Highway Patrol. I remember being in Provo, Utah taking a few final medical tests to be hired on with the Patrol. My wife was waiting in the car with our recently turned 3 year old and 8 month old baby boy. I finished up and we were heading to the University of Utah Hospital to visit my grandpa (he was sick and probably wasn’t going to make it much longer. He passed away October 30th). On October 17, 2013, my wife received the tragic telephone call regarding her oldest sister. My wife lost one of her best friend’s that day. I can’t describe this day nor could I give this day justice in just a few paragraphs, but I can say this day changed our lives forever. My sister in-law left behind her two young daughters, a 4 year old and a 10 year old. My wife and I made our biggest marital decision and knew we needed to bring those two girls into our family.
We did just that, we moved in with her parent’s and we worked towards adoption for the next three years. I was hired on with the Utah Highway Patrol in 2014, and I worked my way to becoming a member of the Criminal Interdiction Team and K9 Team. I currently serve in both positions with the Patrol. In 2015, my wife became a consultant for a company called LuLaRoe. We moved out of my in-laws and back to my childhood home on Kingston Drive. We are currently building a home and my wife is a dang business owner!! I am still trying to figure out my role in the business and I am back and forth with my “title”. I go by Mike’s Giveaways, and most recently I am moving my way towards “Monday’s with Mike”. I am constantly looking for ways to support my family, enlighten others, serve others, lead others, and motivate others. I have a lot on my mind and I feel like it’s my time to share my experiences and what has motivated my successes.
It has been a wild ride throughout my 31 years of life. I have accomplished a lot of things, I have experienced a lot of things, and I have learned a lot of things. There is a lot of good in the world, but there is a lot of trouble in the world. My 10 years in Law Enforcement has brought me a lot of experience and it had helped me serve others, just as I have always wanted. My wife’s business in LuLaRoe has inspired me to do more. I am always looking for better opportunities. You’re right, I am in the “millennial” category, but I will never consider myself part of the “lazy or entitled” group. I work hard and always have. I have earned everything in my life. My dad has taught me how important it is to ALWAYS get back up. From falling off the red bike in the alleyway, to football championships, earning my Eagle Scout, becoming a Returned Missionary, 10 years in Law Enforcement, husband of a business owner, and father to 5 kids. The biggest life lesson I have learned and most important life lesson is this, I am Mike Terry! I can do anything I put my mind to.