George Strait is tipping his hat to first responders in his latest music video.
The country music legend premiered “Weight of the Badge” on Thursday (October 28), marking National First Responders Day. It focuses on first responders — police, fire and others — and their families, sharing their personal stories throughout the video. Each one gives their firsthand account of what the weight of the badge means to them, including a sobering message from one of the officers at the start of Strait's music video:
“You have people that are going out and doing a job to defend their communities, and you know in the back of the mind of every one of those officers, one of them might not be going home. And we have seen — I’ve seen it, thought my career, I have seen it here locally — where a police officer didn’t go home. They kissed their loved ones goodbye, and that was the last time they saw them. And sometimes, I don’t think we realize the impact that this job has had on our families, let alone ourselves. That’s a heavy weight. That’s a heavy weight of the badge.”
In another personal story, a woman opens up about what it’s like to say goodbye to her husband before he goes on duty. In another, a firefighter speaks about his experiences on the job — until a call comes in. That's when he springs into action, driving off in a fire truck with sirens blaring. Between the interviews, Strait sings:
“He swore that oath to protect and serve/ Pours his heart and soul into both those words/ Lays his life on the line/ And the line he walks is razor-fine/ Tempered strength is always tough/ But he ain't gonna buckle under the weight of the badge”
“It’s a sense of service, really. That weight (of the badge) is a sense of service to the people,” a law enforcement officer said at the end of the music video. “I’m very, very hopeful. I’m an optimist. I think most of us are optimists in this job. Because really, we want to do what’s right and what’s good for the people. And (if you) stumble and fall, just get up, dust yourself off, and then you keep moving. Because that’s what life’s about, isn’t it?”
Strait expressed his gratitude in a statement, included in the caption of his new music video:
“The men and women in this music video are our friends and neighbors who carry The Weight of the Badge each day. Thank you. We appreciate you and the sacrifices you and your families make.”