Hometown Heroes

. June 1, 2015.

Justin Music

City of Sylvania Police Sergeant

Family: Wife Victoria, married 20 years; kids Zachary, 20, Ryan, 12, and Bradley, 9

How has becoming a father changed your approach to your job?  

Becoming a father changes you in many ways. I have the unique opportunity to use what I learn as a father to help guide both kids and parents in our community. I am currently assigned to the Community Affairs Division, which provides services in the schools and focuses on work with kids and parents in our community when they are dealing with challenging circumstances.   

How does police work compare to parenting?  

Police work is very similar to parenting. As a parent, whether we realize it or not, we are guiding our children daily by the things we say and, maybe more importantly, by the choices we make. The goal should be to model appropriate behavior that will help our kids develop into good people that become productive and caring adults. As a police officer, we are providing service to our community by trying to make a difference and helping those in need. We also try to model appropriate behaviors to help the people we serve each day to live a safe and productive life.          

How do you respond to being called a “hero dad”?  

I do not think of myself as a hero dad. I am a blessed man with three wonderful children. I have the privilege of serving the Sylvania community and the unique opportunity to try to make a difference by helping those in need. There are many other people in this world that I would describe as a hero.

Mike Eck 

Toledo Firefighter/EMT

Family: Wife Cheryl, married 8 years; kids Kassidy 6, Michael 3, baby due in July

How do you feel about risking your life for others?

Mike: It takes a special kind of person–a unique kind of person–but the feeling you get from helping people, there’s no better adrenaline rush knowing you made someone’s day better. I was in the military for years before I became a firefighter, so I know there are more than enough ways to run into danger.

What do you think about your husband putting himself in danger for the sake of others?

Cheryl: As crazy as it sounds, it’s exciting to know that someone is brave enough to do it. He is braver than most people to do one or the other–military or firefighter–and he did both. It makes me proud.

Which of your husband’s traits do you hope your children pick up?

Cheryl: To know that they can do whatever they want to do, just to know not to give up. Mike has wanted to be a firefighter forever, and I’ve known him for 15 years. He never gave up on his dream, and I hope our kids have that determination.

How has becoming a father affected your approach to your job?

Mike: It definitely changes things because responding to calls with kids hits home. You want to be careful because you want to get back to your family.

What is one value you hope to pass down to your kids?

Mike: Always be polite no matter who you meet; I always try to teach them manners.

George Rhea

Air Force

Family: Wife Ashley Glinka, married 4 years; kids Annabella Rhea, 1, and Taylor Scutaru, 21; granddaughter Aurora, 6 months

How does your military job compare to parenting?

I’m a master sergeant, so it’s actually a lot like parenting. I’m in charge of a bunch of younger guys in their mid-20s, and you’re constantly mentoring, guiding, and shaping their futures, as well as [implementing] the occasional, unfortunate disciplinary action. So it’s very much like parenting.

How has becoming a dad changed your approach to your job?

I’ve been a dad for a long time because I have a 20 year old as well, so being a parent has made me more aware of what other families could be going through, the things that their families have to deal with, like budget concerns and finding childcare.

How do you respond to being called a “hero dad”?

You just say “thank you” and you appreciate it. In society right now, so many people frown on military action, so when you have someone who appreciates the sacrifices you make, you stay very humble about it.

How often are you away from your family?

Right now, at least once a month, and it can be up to weeks away from my family. If I deploy, it would be for 6 months.

What is it like for you to be home with Annabella while George is deployed?

Ashley: I’m used to being on my own because it’s how everything has always been, even when we were dating. I was a DHS agent in federal law enforcement when we met, so I was familiar with the military schedule. Family is close by, and that makes it easier.