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Phoenix Police Detective Sean Reavie took a long road to get his badge. (Phoenix Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX -- Sitting alone in his father's garage, Sean Reavie was despondent, depressed.

His sobs were interrupted by his father, who found Sean struggling to cope with the aftermath of the decisions he had made.

"He said 'OK, I'm giving you 15 minutes. Get it out. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to throw up, do it, but when you come back inside you leave all of that in the garage,'" said Sean.

Sean's story, originally reported by the Saturday Evening Post, begins in a small town, a six-hour drive north of Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in St. Ignace, a community with a population of about 2,000 people. It was in his hometown where he first got the calling to be a police officer at the young age of five.

"My dad's best friend was a Michigan state trooper," said Sean. "One day, he brought my dad home in his patrol car and that stuck in my mind -- the uniform, the car, the presence -- so I made a promise to him that I was going to be just like him when I grew up."

As Sean grew older, it was evident he had the potential to become a great writer. At the urging of a teacher, Sean ignorned his calling and instead graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in journalism. He married and pursued a career in broadcasting.

At one point, the desire to protect and serve resurfaced, but his wife expressed her concerns for his safety. Once again, he ignored the calling.

Eventually, Sean moved on from journalism, moved on from the relationship and found himself bankrupt, in every sense of the word, at the age of 39.

"Lost my business, my home, my savings with nowhere to go. All I had was what I could fit in my jeep and so I swallowed my pride and moved back with my dad."

Sean's father helped him realize, after that fateful day in the garage, that life is what you make it. He realized that it wasn't the end, it was the beginning of endless possibilities.

"You have to either say, 'Am I going to allow this challenge to enfeable me, paralyze me into inaction and let it win or let it somehow empower me and let it define me?'"

In a twist of fate, Sean received an email from an old friend asking if he still wanted to be a police officer. The email ignited more than a spark, the desire to once again become a police officer resurfaced and Sean applied, despite the fact that he was in his late 30s and Arizona seemed to be a million miles away from St. Ingace.

After grueling physical testing and exams, Sean had found his way after 35 years.

Now, Sean has had a successful career with the Phoenix Police Department and has been promoted to detective. He is currently investigating child crimes and it's a job Sean said he was always meant to do.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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