IRVING, Tx. (WHTM) — A woman who always dreamed of becoming a police officer finally saw that dream achieved this week at age 42. During that swearing-in ceremony, her family had a special surprise for her.
This is the moment two dreams came true for Texas mother Erika Benning who say she’s known for decades what she wanted to someday become.
“I always wanted to be a police officer since I would say about the age of four or five,” Benning said.
But in her words, life happens.
After having her son Giovanni at a young age, she put her dream on hold. Instead, focusing on being a mom, she raised him to know the value of service leading him to join the army where he’s now a sergeant stationed in Germany.
“I told him it’s the best thing to do you know, I’m a firm believer in serving your country, and when he left for the military, that’s when I decided to let me pursue this,” Benning said.
So she went back to work on her own dream, enrolling in the Irving police academy. She finished first in her class in the physical fitness test and this week at age 42, she fulfilled that lifelong goal, becoming officer Erika Benning.
But the moment soon became even sweeter because waiting to pin her badge she’d worked so hard for, more than two years since she’d last seen him, was her son.
“I saw this young man walking out on the counter in his blues. And it took me a good two seconds, realize was my son, this was real. This was happening. And my heart sank and I can’t hold my tears,” Benning said.
The mother embraced by her son and her husband Corey, her fellow officers wiping away tears as well.
“I just don’t have words to describe how thankful I am to my department, the chief, and I look forward to working with them until I cannot do this job anymore,” Benning said.