Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

Fort Myers Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, October 25, 2003

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

DEAR DAN

HEY HUN, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY WE WERE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL TOGETHER. THE OLDER I GET THE FASTER IT'S GOING. I DROVE BY THE OLD HOUSE BEHIND TACO BELL YESTERDAY. I DROVE REALLY SLOW AND LET THE MEMORIES POUR. I HAVEN'T SEEN YOUR MOM IN A COUPLE MONTHS, AND ANDREW AND I HAVEN'T TALKED IN A WHILE EITHER. I HAVE GOTTEN ENGAGED AND WILL BE TAKING THE BIG STEP SHORTLY. I KNOW I DIDN'T GET THE CHANCE TO TELL YOU YEARS AGO, BUT YOU ARE ONE OF A KIND. I KNOW, JUST LIKE EVERY ONE WHO KNOWS YOU, YOU ARE IN A MUCH BETTER PLACE. CONGRATULATIONS DAN YOU MADE IT TO THE BEST PLACE, GOD IS REWARDING YOU FOR BEING SUCH A GOOD SAMARITAN. SMILE WE ALL LOVE YOU AND CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!

STEPHANIE SICKAFOOSE (MIDKIFF)

January 25, 2005

Policeman's 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,
His comforting hand reduces fear to naught;
He makes me walk through streets of crime,
But He gives me courage and peace of mind.

He leads me by still waters in the path I trod,
And He says in Romans I'm a "minister of God,"
He leads me in righteousness as He restores my soul,
For His name's sake He keeps me whole.

When I walk through death's valley, right up to the door,
I will fear no evil, for He comforts me more;
For Thou art with me every step of the way,
As thy rod and thy staff protect me each day.

He prepares a table, especially for me,
As I work daily among life's enemies;
He gives me authority to uphold the law,
And He anoints my position in the midst of it all.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me,
Each day of my life through eternity;
As I long to hear Him say, "Well done...,"
When I lay down my life, my badge, and my gun.

Author Unknown

January 24, 2005

hi jessica...
i have no clue if you remember me or not. i sat next to you in the fiancee's group at PW. until i got in touch with jocelyne and she reminded me of you and where you were from, i could not figure out for the life of me how to get a message to you. (i know....it's crazy, but i can really be a ditz sometimes!) anyway, i have thought about you ever since that day in washington, and i want you to know that i have been praying for you. i would love to talk to you if you'd like. i guess i can't display e-mail addresses on here, but jocelyne knows how to get ahold of me if you want. you don't have to...i totally understand if you don't. but i would be more than glad to try to build a friendship for support and to share our memories with one another. who knows....maybe it will help in some way. well, i look forward to hearing from you. stay tough in the meantime and take care of yourself.

much love.

Jessi Garger
Fiancee of P.O. Cole Martin E.O.W. 4/25/03

January 18, 2005

Hey Dan,

I know it's been awhile since we've written, but we just wanted to say Happy Birthday, and that we miss you and love you. Bet you had a great party with all the Sonny's Bar-B-Q you could eat and all the sweet tea you could drink!

Jared & Tiffany Hunt

January 18, 2005

Daniel -
Happy Birthday! Today you would have been 23 years old. It seems like yesterday that we were were celebrating my birthday along with yours and Tyler's. Remember? I can still see us all at the table blowing out the candles on the cake. I never knew that would be your last birthday. It seems like time has faded and everything is just a memory now. Things seem to get better, and then they get worse. And then they get better again. I know that you are happy where you are in Heaven, and I know that you are with us everyday. But it hurts more and more as the holidays come and go, and special days come without you here. It is probably the most difficult thing to deal with since your passing. I try to remember the good times though, and be thankful for the time I got to spend with you - even if it was only for a little awhile.
I Love you SOO Much!
Hugs and Kisses -
Jessica

January 17, 2005

Dan,
I forgot to add, "Happy Birthday!"
Marka

Marka Kubsch

January 16, 2005

Hey, Dan..
It seems odd to having this conversation with you since it has been quite some time since we last spoke. Recently, John and I were "reunited" after a year or so of losing touch. He told me about what happened to you but how you had met someone extremely special and dear. I'm so happy that you found your soul mate. My prayers go out to your family and I know that you are watching over everyone that you cared for. John left you a message on the 16th of December telling you what has transpired since you have been gone. Well, Johns' fiancee was involved in an accident and has passed away on the 30th of December. More than anything he needs reassurance from all those who loves him. I figured I would send you a message so that you could watch over him and make sure he is doing ok. I know you are pretty close to the "Big Guy" up there and will look after him making sure he knows that this is not his fault since two of his loved ones have left him the same way. I want to send my love and prayers to your family, friends, and fiancee. There are so many memories that I have of John, you and myself at our place. Especially when my parents were in town and we all got to go out with them. Those I will always cherish. Take care Dan. You will always be remembered and loved. I know that you are doing exactly what the Lord had planned for you. I know that you are helping others up there and even down here.

Marka Kubsch

Marka Kubsch

January 16, 2005

Hey Dan, I know that it has been a while since I last wrote something to you. Alot of things have been going on and I have been trying to stay busy, I started the academy 2weeks ago and I am really enjoying it, I only have 20 more weeks togo. Well I have to say that it is so strange going into another new year wihtout you here with all of us. I think of you everyday and especially while im in the academy. I know that you are there with me helping me stay awake during those boring lectures. Well man i hope I can make you proud and I know that you are watching me everyday and protecting us. Well bud I have to go now and study, but you have fun up there and watch over Christie for us. TD

Cadet Travis Daniels
Fort Myers Police Department

January 13, 2005

My Daniel Darling -
Well a New Year is here and it is hard to believe that I will not get to have a "real" conversation with you ever in 2005. I've been on the officer down page quite awhile tonight reading other's reflections and it is all very sad. There is just no good thing about it. In 2005 we have already had to deal with sadness, and pain. But I know somewhere, somehow you are with us all helping us through it. Thank you for all the "311" signs you send me. Sometimes when Im adding something up at work it will come up to 311. :) I just smile and think "Yes, I love you too Dan". Sometimes I see it in the strangest ways. I am convinced it is you. And for that I am grateful.
Im worried about moving on though. Career wise, and everyother aspect of my life. The night I was awoken with the news of your accident haulted my whole future, and somehow I can't seem to fully recover. How do you recover from something that you NEVER wanted to happen? It is really scary to think that eventually I will be moved on. BUT, that doesn't mean that my love for you will ever die. Criminals may be able to take our officer's but there is one thing they cannot touch - and that is my love for you. It is something that will never die no matter what occurs, or what may happen. I gave you my heart the day I met you at that concert. And I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. My darling I hope you are safe and happy tonight in Heaven. Remember that I love you so very much pea pod. :)
- Jess

January 7, 2005

Hi Darling,

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas. I can only imagine the celebration going on in Heaven.
I Love you ALWAYS,
- Jess

December 24, 2004

danny boy-
I have not left one these yet and it has been over a year since you left. I am not sure why. Others have and left several reflections but I guess I wanted to wait. I want to say thank you, thank you for being my best friend, thank you for being there when I would mess up and thank you for pushing me into law enforcement. Before your death you were trying so hard to get me in and now I am here, well on my way at least, hopefully I will be L.E.O somewhere, someday and I will try to make you proud of me. , and I wish I could share without you when it happens, but I know you will be watching my back like always. I also want to apologize to you and others for not keeping contact as much as I should. They know who they are and I want them to know I am here for them I am just bad at keeping in touch. Now onto happier news, you were recently awarded the medal of honor from the department, even a year after you're gone you still make me proud. I also want you to know I am engaged and you would have been my best man. You were as much a brother to me as anyone could have been for those 21yrs we were best friends. I love and miss you.-john

JOHN REAVES

December 16, 2004

Daniel Darling -
I am missing you so much lately. I miss you everyday but esp when the holiday's arrive. And it has arrived in full force. Last year seemed hard, but this year seems so much harder. Your mom put up the tree and decorated and I KNOW you'd be so proud of her. Valerie made these beautiful angel ornaments that you'd love. I know it's an angel tree, and that you'd love it. It's almost if you sent it from Heaven and placed it in the living room, for all of us to love.

I often wonder what our tree would look like this year. After all, it would be our first one. Our first tree, our first stockings..our First Christmas together. It sounds so stupid but it breaks my heart that this year I am not where I long to be. With you, celebrating Christmas together. I try not to be sad, but I can't help it - it's so discouraging that everyone else trying to enjoy the holiday season, but I am so sad given the circumstances. I can't even get into the Christmas songs like I used too. I just keep thinking of how we got to take that picture in front of the Christmas tree the first year we were dating. Now, I'm so thankful we did. For that picture was the only one I would ever have with you in front of the tree. Our Tree. I wish I was spending Christmas with you. The only thing I want for Christmas is YOU! But unfort, there is no price to pay that would be enough to have you back, because God needed you and we can't argue with the boss right?

So, I will continue to pass all the "Our First Christmas Together" things that are in stores all over the town..and try not to let it bother me. Because I know you wouldn't want me to do that. It just doesn't seem right this year. I think I understand why.

You're not with us.

I Love You Sweets-

Jess

December 11, 2004

Jessica,

I saw the reflection that you left for Joey. Your devotion to Daniel is wonderful and is truly an inspiration to others. I lost Joey in 1997 and I have gone on with my life, but not a day goes by that he is not with me. I don't know what I would do if I ever felt that I lost him altogether. You keep being strong and your strength will get you and your friends and family through the tough times. I realized early that when Joey died people were looking at me for leadership. I had to stand up, be strong and let everyone know that it's o.k. to laugh, cry, and reflect. I remember everyone getting emotional when Joey's name would be brought up. Finally, I started talking about Joey all the time. I would tell the funny, crazy, stupid and emotional stories about him. By me doing this it told everyone that it's o.k. to talk about Joey. Now Joey will never be forgotten and people will talk about him as if he is still with us. They talk about Joey because I let them know that it is o.k. Jessica, always remember that time does heal wounds but sometimes you go up mountains that were higher than the ones you just came down. What I am trying to say is that I still have nights that it hurts just as bad as the day it happened. What I can promise you is every time you have a bad night the next day you are so much stronger. The reason being is that you just went through another war and made it out alive. I hope you will continue to support other widows and fiancee's the way you seem to be doing. Remember Daniel and Joey are always looking down on us. Also, think of how lucky we are to know we are loved by heroes.

Dana Moody Perot
Fiancee of Deputy Joseph (Joey) C. Rodgers eow 4-9-97

December 7, 2004

Jessica,

My husband and I were teenagers when we started dating (10 years and 10 days of happiness). My entire adulthood was spent with my one and only true love, my Prince Charming. After a year of dating we were engaged, five years later, we were married. I wanted to marry him sooner, but he wanted to save up for the "dream" wedding I always wanted. We unfortunately didn't make it to our fourth wedding anniversay. He was taken from me about a month and a half before it. We both knew that we would one day bury either one or the other. That wasn't supposed to happen until we were old and not at 29 (him) and 27 (me) years old. Being young is what makes it harder. I hate when someone calls me his widow. I correct them and say I am his wife. I am to young to be called that word. Your continued devotion to Daniel is and should be an inspiration to all of us young ladies who have suffered the tragic loss of our soul mates.

May you find peace and comfort this holiday season and always until you can be reunited with your one and only true love again. He will always be with you and will guide you through the rest of your life.

Jennifer R. Aaron
Wife of Ofc. Duke G. Aaron, III (EOW 07/20/04)

December 7, 2004

Hey bro, miss ya, show Phil around up there, would ya. Saw your family at Phil's viewing, they seem to be doing well. Don't see them enough lately. We all miss you.

Scott

November 29, 2004

hi angel daniel -

love you so.

November 28, 2004

Well It's starting to be your favorite time of year again. I always remembering you liking it in Florida when it got cool out. When you could roll down the windows in your truck and not sweat! Or when you could wear a light, long sleeve shirt and be comfortable. I remembering you commenting to me some time ago how you loved this time of year. How sad it is that you are not here to experience it this year. How sad I am that you are not here to share in it with me.

It's getting to be nicer, cooler weather so I guess thats good. I was walking the dogs today and saw huge flocks of birds flying out of a tree and on thier way somewhere. It make me think of you and wonder where you were off flying somewhere. It made me think of new beginings, and the future and it makes me so scared. Waking up everyday without you is heartbreaking. Having to live each day without you is even more heartbreaking.

I will never stop loving you babe.
Love You Always,
Jessica

November 8, 2004

Hi Daniel,
My family was at my house last night for dinner, and they asked about the anniversary of your accident. I let them know that it was on Oct. 25th. They live up north but they were in town when it happened. They did not get the chance to meet you. They did get to meet Jess and they think the world of her. I know that God has his own plan but I really do not understand it. I guess I am writing this refection to just let you know that even people who didn't get the chance to meet you, are thinking about you. They are also thinking about the impact you had on this world. God Bless You.
Amanda

November 4, 2004

Dan an entire year has passed and we all still grieve the loss in our own ways as if it were hours ago.. Not a day has passed that I am reminded of you and all that you have brought to us both in life and death. You still continue to stand tall in briefing and stand strong in our hearts. Thank you for the unspoken blessings. You are a true Guardian Angel

Officer Nancy Mulligan
Fort Myers Police Department

October 27, 2004

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

Rest in peace.

October 25, 2004

Dan, I sit here today with many things running through my mind. I cant help but miss you and wish you were here. As I said in my last note to you John and I and a couple of others went to the cemetery last night at 0200. Just before 0217 a single helicopter flew over us witch reminded us all of the flyover you received at your final resting place the day of your funeral. I have to say that I believe it was a sign, you were letting us know that you were fine and that you were also thinking of us. Well bud I will go now, but I will be thinking of you all day today, as always I miss you. #311

Explorer Chief Travis Daniels
Fort Myers Police Department

October 25, 2004

Dan i can't believe it's been one year today. I can remember everything that went one like it was last night. I'm trying so hard to think more about the good times that we spent together, instead of that night. but it is so hard. I miss you so much, but i know your in a good place now. And you are looking over us day and night. I can only wait and serve my time till I can see you again brother. Until then I Love you and miss you 311.

Explorer Captain Bill Schulte
Fort Myers Police Department

October 25, 2004

I can't believe it has already been a year. I was sitting in the same place I was 365 days ago; working channel 2. Thank you for the little "signs" you sent. I am sure the single helicopter flying over the cemetery while a few were reflecting about your wonderful life touched them, and the one that I will hold on to today as if it were just for me; "0253". We were listening to your CD that Jen created, and the clocked turned 0253 just as the recording was playing.....
311 10-7 10/25/03 at 0253 hrs.
Thank you for watching over us, and helping us to believe that there is a better place and rewards abundant waiting for all of us in Heaven.
Lisa Ann #1004

Lisa Ann Lewis
Ft Myers Police Department

October 25, 2004

Dan, it doesn’t seem possible that in just a few hours a year will have come and gone since you were last with us. I miss you so bad man, I just keep thinking of the last conversation that I had with you and remember the last time I saw you, we were at the jail and you had a prisoner you were taking in. I can still see you standing there with that smile that you always had, and even more so after you were sworn in. John and I are going to the cemetery late tonight to visit for a while. I just wish that I could see you and have you here with us. I talked to Andrew for a while Friday and we talked about how we missed you and how hard tomorrow is going to be. Well man I will go for now and I will talk to you soon. I miss you Starks.

Explorer Chief-Travis Daniels
Fort Myers Police

October 24, 2004

Dear Daniel,
I am writing this reflection a week before your one year. I am starting early but I want to be able to think of everything I want to say. It reminds me of when I had to write what I was going to say at your funeral. I didn’t have that much time, and I thought of a million things I could have said that I didn’t.
It’s hard to believe you have been gone from our lives for one year. Even though you may be gone from our human world, you are not gone from my heart. So much has gone on since you left, that I wished you could have been apart of.
Your dad is working, and is really involved with church. He is teaching boys Sunday school, I believe, and still doing the “donut ministry”. I remember all the times we walked up to the table on Sunday mornings to see him. It is very hard to do that now. Anyways, he was also nominated to become an Elder. When I heard that I knew you’d be so proud. I can just imagine you saying “Yup, my pop is gonna be an elder.” How thrilled you must be for him in Heaven. No matter what happens though, he has become my dad that I never really had, given my circumstances. He has blessed me with many things that I am truly grateful for. Trust, honesty, and the ability to joke around about things to make certain situations seem not so bad is something I treasure. He is wonderful, and I love him just about as much as you do. He is doing well, and I know you are glad about that.
Your mom is one to be proud of as well. Still working at Dillard’s but we are together there so it is a little fun on the good days. She is now the manager over the entire ready to wear department which she has worked hard to achieve. She along with me makes sure that you have nice flowers at the cemetery, and all the good stuff. She is doing well, but like me has the not so good days. We have grown so close and she is really a second mother to me. We always joke about how you would be telling us to stop talking so much in church. I really value the time I get to spend with her, because I know she hurts as much as I do. Your family is truly remarkable and stands to be recognized. Your mom loves you so much, and she really pushes to make sure your memory remains, and that you are cared for, even though you’re not here.
Ben is doing well. He is at school, and I hear he’s doing well. He loves Greek and is getting ready to learn Hebrew. He also made a CD with Adrian, and H.T. I know you would love it. The band’s name is Merciful, and they are really awesome. Ben is a great brother, and I’ve learned so much from him about strength, and endurance. Throughout this last year he has become invaluable to me and I love him.
Andrew is staying strong too. He misses you so much, and I understand his longing to see you again. He is working construction, and liking it. He had some trouble with his car but it’s all being worked out. He is on the road to really becoming a great guy, although he was before all this happened too. He is working hard to make you proud, and I’m sure he is. I love him as my brother as well.
As for me, the days are flying by. After you died I had some rocky spots but all in all I think I’ve made it through okay. I’m living at home where I feel I need to be right now. It’s the best place for me, and it’s working out okay. I graduated, but am having a rough time finding a job in my field. So, Dillard’s is where I am. It has its days but I’m just grateful for a job. I work days with no nights so that’s pretty good. It keeps me busy and my mind busy which is what I need right now. I may go back to school for occupational therapy but we will see..Your parents bought me a dog so I’m having fun taking care of my first dog. She is crazy, but so much fun and brings happiness to me especially on the days that aren’t so good. I have a rough time finding the words to explain how I feel. Some days it’s loneliness, other day’s anger. I get angry at the people that don’t understand, that don’t feel your memory is important. I get frustrated with the people that will never understand what my heart has to endure everyday. But on whatever day I’m feeling, I push myself to go on. Because I can hear you telling me that what I’m doing is silly, and to get out there and keep going. But it’s so hard sometimes. There are days that I go to the cemetery and cry to you for help. Other days I go and tell you of all the joy I had on a good day. Needless to say you are always there listening. Just like you where when you were here with me.
It’s hard to believe that one year has gone by where I haven’t seen you walk through the door, or hear you say my name, or leave me a crazy message on my voicemail. I haven’t seen you wave goodbye in your truck, or put on your uniform and kiss me goodbye. It seems like yesterday we were registering for wedding things, and talking about getting our house or an apartment. Now, all of that is just a memory. I sometimes think I need to start writing everything down. Every single thing that I remember because I don’t want to forget a single thing. I often wonder everyday where we would be if we were married. Where we would be living, would we be starting a family? I know one thing; we would be so much in love. It’s hard to explain in one reflection of my love for you. I have struggled since you left us, and I don’t fully think that anyone knows of the complete and utter happiness you brought to my life. Everyone says to trust God, and trust in your memory, but it’s very difficult. I trust, but I do not understand. There are so many people that claim they care, but when it comes down to it, they would really rather not be bothered. I’ve learned that that’s okay with me, and that all I need is right in my heart and that is our love.
I sincerely hope that you are flying around in Heaven with so many other’s that have gone as well. I often wonder if you’ve met Leslie, my great grandmother, Brian Haas, Bryan Verkler, Micah Brown, and Dennis McElderry to name a few. I bet Heaven is so amazing, and I am so glad you are safe, and secure in the arms of our Lord. My prayer is that you will be proud of what I do on Earth, and that my actions will make you proud of me. On this one year mark, and every day of my life I will forever be yours, and you will forever be my true love.
I Love You Forever,
Jessica

October 24, 2004

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