Mesa Police Department Officer Sean Stoddard’s life was changed forever just 10 short months ago. Recently, local businesses came together to show their continued support and appreciation.
Officer Stoddard put his life on the line to save others when he noticed a ladder blocking an eastbound lane near Higley Road on U.S. Highway 60 in August 2020. He stopped his patrol car and activated his emergency lights to alert other drivers, according to a release.
Before Officer Stoddard could get out of his vehicle, his patrol car was rear-ended. The impact forced the patrol car across several lanes of traffic, and Mesa Fire and Medical Department officials extracted him from his patrol car. Officer Stoddard suffered a traumatic brain injury and now experiences severe memory issues and impaired motor skills.
In partnership with Trane, Arizona’s Dukes of Air recently installed two new HVAC systems at Officer Stoddard’s home.
“After learning this family had two non-working HVAC units, and our 100-degree-plus temperatures were right around the corner, I knew we had to help,” Tonya Kubacki, general manager of Dukes of Air, said in the release. “Officer Stoddard’s story and dedication to our community touched the hearts of our team members and it is a privilege for us to support the Stoddard family.”
As part of their longstanding commitment to give back to communities they serve, Trane donated the two home comfort systems and Arizona’s Dukes of Air contributed the installation.
Officer Stoddard helps veterans and first responders through his nonprofit organization Archangels. He has been deployed four times, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been part of the Mesa Police Department for 14 years. During COVID-19, he was instrumental with Archangels Operation: Protecting Those Who Protect Us by delivering PPE and latex gloves to first-responders, the release states.
Officer Stoddard said, “humor, gratitude and service is how we recover.” He went on to share his favorite poem of the boy tossing stranded starfish back into the ocean. He told the Dukes of Air installation team, “thank you for making a difference to this starfish and not letting us stay stranded,” and he gave each team member a starfish figurine, the release states.
Officer Stoddard told the installation team about the Army tradition of honoring someone with a commander’s coin to show their appreciation for a phenomenal job on the spot. It is more than just a thank you or a pat on the back, it is something tangible to remember the moment by recognizing hard work and excellence an individual displays.
Officer Stoddard presented Mrs. Kubacki with the service coin. Mrs. Kubacki said she is proud of her team and the partnership with Trane that allowed them to give back to the Stoddard family.