4 minute read

Caring for the Ones Left Behind

INTERVIEWED BY JODIE BURKE VIA WEBEX

Eden Rule lost her best friend and husband of 18 years, Deputy Constable Caleb Rule, on May 29, 2020, when he was killed in the line of duty at age 37. In 2021, First Responders Children’s Foundation awarded college scholarships to 209 students. This is one family’s story.

My name is Eden Rule, and I live in Richmond, Texas. I’d known Caleb since I was 12. We both played trumpet in band. Caleb was way better than me. Any instrument you handed him, he could figure out how to play. We were married for 18 years when he was killed—we’d be celebrating 20 years this April. We have four amazing children, but of course, they have struggled through this tragedy. Even when I feel like I’m falling apart, I have to do my best to get through the day for them.

My parents both died when I was young, so I knew my husband longer than I did my parents. Now it’s just my kids and me. Even in a crowded room, it gets very lonely.

Caleb would tell me, “I’m a good cop and come hell or high water, no matter what happens, I’m coming home.” Being a cop was his life’s purpose—he was an amazing servant to his community, to his family. I miss being loved by him.

Caleb was killed on the same day our daughter Annie graduated from high school. Her principal and her counselor showed up at our house with her diploma, but when Annie heard that all these officers were going to be coming from all over the county to attend her graduation and stand there in the absence of her dad, she said, “Mom, I want to walk tonight.” She

EDEN AND CALEB RULE

returned the diploma and walked that stage with 100 police officers standing in place of her father. They lined up down the road, all around the field, and on the track, and the entire town stood up and gave her a standing ovation. Annie stopped, took a deep breath, and smiled for her picture with her diploma. I am so proud of her strength and courage.

It’s so generous of First Responders Children’s Foundation to choose Annie as a scholarship recipient to honor the memory of my husband, Deputy Constable Caleb Rule. Annie will be mentioned as a scholarship recipient

with his name attached to it, and his legacy will go on.

“Heartbreaking, yet hopeful stories like this one from the Rule family are the reason why CSX partners with First Responders Children’s Foundation through our community investment initiative, Pride in Service. We are proud to help fund scholarships and other support programs, as our company’s way of showing appreciation for the commitment and sacrifice of first responder families across the country,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX, a premier transportation company

RULE FAMILY © IMAGES COURTESY OF THE FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION

based in Jacksonville, Florida. “We thank First Responders Children’s Foundation for spearheading this important effort and connecting us with families in need.”

First Responders Children’s Foundation provides financial support to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty and families enduring significant financial hardship due to tragic circumstances. The Foundation also supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by first responder organizations whose purpose is to benefit children or the community at large. FRCF has awarded college scholarships to hundreds of deserving children of first responders. Scholars are selected based on financial need, with priority given to children of first responders who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.

Make a donation today at www.1stRCF.org. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @1stRCF.

HELP THE CHILDREN OF FIRST RESPONDERS

First Responders risk their lives every day to come to the rescue for us. When these heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, First Responders Children’s Foundation supports the brave children left behind.

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