Respect Camp: Nick Rogers

May 23, 2023

Respect Camp: Nick Rogers

In the vast tapestry of human experiences, some stories emerge as beacons of inspiration and resilience, illuminating the depths of the human spirit.

Meet Nicholas Rogers, a man whose path has been defined by service, sacrifice, and a relentless pursuit of purpose. As a nine-year Marine Corps veteran and a current member of the San Antonio Police Department's Violent Crimes Task Force, Nicholas has traversed the treacherous terrains of combat, patrolled the streets with unwavering dedication, and faced the darkest moments that life can offer. It is within the crucible of these trials that Nicholas discovered a profound source of strength—the Tactical Games. This remarkable fusion of physical fitness and tactical shooting became not only a personal pursuit but a beacon of hope for his fellow veterans and first responders. Join us as we delve into Nicholas Rogers' harrowing journey, guided by a resolute sense of respect and an unwavering commitment to uplift those who silently bear their own burdens.

“My name is Nicholas Rogers. I'm a nine year Marine Corps veteran. I currently serve on the San Antonio Police Department on the Violent Crimes Task Force, and I'm a Tactical Games athlete. In the Marine Corps, I served nine years as a combat engineer. So, I dealt with explosives, construction, lane clearing, minesweeping, and stuff of that nature. I also served as a chief instructor for the Corporals Course. Which is sort of the first line of leadership. In the police department, the first two years of my time, I patrolled the South Side. I was very proactive on patrol. During that time, I kind of transitioned from the Street Crimes Unit to the Violent Crimes Task Force, where I've currently been serving for the last year. The biggest obstacle I think I've overcome in life is back in July of 2021; I was involved in an officer involved shooting.

It was a hostage situation where the suspect had taken his estranged wife and three kids hostage and was threatening to kill himself and his wife. During that incident, the guy came out with a baby as a shield and went back in. The wife came out and went back in. There were a lot of ups and downs during the incident. Towards the end of that incident the suspect came out with a shotgun, pointed at my buddies down on the ground where me and two other officers opened fire and ended up shooting him.

Standard protocol for the police department is that you get put on desk duty through the duration of that investigation. During that time, I found myself getting low, negative and down. I was really pessimistic and started getting bitter. My partner, who was also involved in a separate officer involved shooting, was also on administrative duty. So we would vent to one another and not negatively towards each other, but just kind of perpetuate the negativity of this whole situation. It was really unhealthy for both of us.

This leads into my biggest obstacle. Being that partner, I got a call one night that he had sent out a mass text message to a bunch of our friends, basically telling them that he loved them and that he was sorry. You could tell from the context of that message that he wasn't in the right state of mind and that he was probably going to end his life. So we all converged on his house and I think, seeing my best friend in that state of mind with a gun to his head… I can still imagine the muscles flexing with his finger on the trigger. It's probably one of the darkest times that I have ever been through. That really affected me.

It pushed me to look outside of what I was currently doing at the time, and then through that struggle I found the Tactical Games. The Tactical Games is a hybrid between CrossFit type working out and implements a two gun competition, shooting with a rifle and pistol. It gave me something to pursue that gave me something to train for.

I was introduced by another good friend and one of my mentors. I have always taken fitness very seriously and I've loved shooting ever since I joined the Marine Corps. I then found the Tactical Games coupled these things together. After I was introduced to the Tactical Games, about two weeks later, I drove all the way to Mississippi, and bought my entry fee on site that morning and was competing that afternoon.

That experience changed my life and gave me something to push to. Like a mission to push towards, a reason outside of my occupation to train for. Throughout the training, my children are there and they see me, they're running beside me, they're climbing over obstacles with me, and they're on the rifle range when I'm shooting.

What I think is important about it is them seeing me as a good role model. To see me pursuing something, something that makes me happy, something that pushes me; so they see that grit. They see their dad following through and working for something other than himself. That's what the Tactical Games did for me.

The goal for the next 1 to 3 years of mine is to continue to pursue my experiences in the Tactical Games. I love the community and want to be a part of it. I would love to get more veterans and first responders involved in the Tactical Games. I know a lot of us are going through some of these struggles similar to what I went through. I think putting yourself aside, similar to the military, and coming into or embracing some of those struggles is necessary, even though it sucks at the time.

I really feel like afterwards, when you look back on it, going through that really crappy time but completing it gives you a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and success. If I could perpetuate that on all the other veterans that are quietly dealing with their own things, hopefully they don't get to that point where they think the only option is suicide or in drinking the problems away or whatever the case is. So one of my goals is obviously to try to help out my brothers and sisters.” - Nick Rogers

Nicholas Rogers, embodies the essence of resilience and triumph over adversity. Through his profound experiences, he reveals the indomitable human spirit and offers profound insights into the human condition. From his harrowing encounters as a combat engineer to his involvement in an officer-involved shooting, Nicholas's unwavering commitment to duty and his resolute courage attest to the profound depths of his character.

Beyond his occupation, Nicholas's search for meaning led him to the Tactical Games—a realm where physical prowess and marksmanship converge. In this realm, he discovered a wellspring of purpose and a means to transcend the limitations of his past. Nicholas's journey extends beyond himself; it encompasses a desire to uplift his fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Through the Tactical Games, he seeks to forge a community united by shared sacrifice and a quest for purpose. Witnessing Nicholas's story reminds us that within the depths of our struggles lies untapped reservoirs of strength, waiting to be unleashed. He invites us to embrace adversity as a catalyst for transformation, unlocking the transformative power within ourselves to soar to new heights.

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