"My journey in forming part of the VLK Family"

Luis Rodriguez

Luis Rodriguez lg


It all started at the end of 2006. While still working at the Department of corrections in Puerto Rico I received a call on a Thursday and to my surprise it was Mr. Ken Licklider. The first thing he said was, "Are you ready to travel to Indiana?" And without hesitation I said yes. I was so nervous I did not even know I had said yes. I just reacted quickly and said yes. After Ken explained that this was a job offer, my only question then was, When do you need me there? Ken answered with Monday. Remember, I just said this was Thursday and I had already said yes. So of course my answer was yes again!

I thought that decision was the most critical and one of the hardest things I had ever done. But I was wrong. After hanging up, reality kicked in and I remembered that I just made the biggest decision of my life without even talking to my wife. Now I had to go home after work and talk to my wife and explain to her what I had done.

Well I finally made it home that evening and as I walked in my wife and two kids were waiting for me like every day, without imagining that our lives were about to change forever. After explaining what I had done with my wife, her answer was, "I will be with you in any decision you make, especially if it is going to better the future of our kids." Now I had two days to get everything ready and make sure my wife and kids were going to be okay since I was leaving them behind for a bit until I got settled into Indiana. Before I could really sit down and think about everything, I was on a plane Sunday to start work on Monday.

So I began this journey without my family. I spent five months without seeing my wife, my four year old daughter and three year old son. But finally at the end of May they arrived. I thought this was going to be just fine because winter was over and the weather was just fine, but I was mistaken. As soon as they arrived at the airport I had to rush to the store to purchase coats for all of them. I guess high fifties is still very cold for somebody coming from Puerto Rico to Indiana for the first time. Especially when the weather they are use to is warm all year round.
(My bad)

At this point at the end of May of 2007 my journey at VLK really began now that my wife and two kids were by my side. Even though I knew we had just left all of our families behind in Puerto Rico, I felt relaxed because I knew that back in Denver Indiana we had the whole VLK Family waiting for us to arrive and welcome my wife and kids.

I will continue my story at the next magazine. It has now been 10 years and the amount of people I have met and the places I have been has been incredible, especially working with canine units from back home. (Puerto Rico, South and Central America.)


Luis Rodriguez