Written by Johnnie Vrana
Before I introduce myself officially as part of Fallen Blue, I would like to say that I have always been intrigued by Music & Acting, Baseball and Law Enforcement. Baseball ended for me after High School. Music &Acting are what I do for a living. Law Enforcement is something that I never pursued, because my Dad said I was a great musician and that is what I should pursue. As a child, like so many, I dressed and acted out the part of cops and robbers with friends. In my neighborhood, I was the only one who took the cop part. I’ve even taken classes in school on Criminal Justice and was invited to some Forensic Symposiums with some NYPD CSU Detectives. I have a lot a close friends and some family in different areas of Law Enforcement. When the 9/11 tragedy happened, I lost a few friends and still I face these losses everyday. Touring for years, I’ve become friendly with Police all over the world. I am always impressed and honored to be their friend. They lay their lives on the line to protect us. Like our troops, whom I support fully, I give my utmost respect to these men and women. In 1992, I even took the NYPD test and did well. My family talked me out of this because they knew my heart was in Music and Theater. Well, now at this point, I’m out touring again but I will always do my part for Law Enforcement.
My name is A.J. Pero and I play drums for the Heavy Metal Band, TWISTED SISTER. I have been asked by John and Rachael from Fallen Blue to be a part of the Brotherhood. I jumped at the opportunity. I have become the National Spokesperson for this non-profit organization called Fallen Blue. I am honored to be a part of this family, this vital organization. I will help out 150%, so we can achieve our goals. Our goals are to help the families of these brave men and women who die outside the line of duty. When a police officer is killed outside the line of duty, whether accidentally or by their own hand due to job related stress, they don’t receive the benefits. Some families can’t even afford to have a funeral, never mind future bills. I’ve experienced that years ago when a friend on the job, stressed out and emotionally fried, shot himself. Our neighborhood stood together to help the wife and children. We had benefits and cookouts to raise money, but it just wasn’t enough. This organization can and will become vital nationwide if we all recognize this is a reality and pull together our resources for all Law Enforcement Officers. Even though there are many different branches, we are all the same underneath and need to be treated as such. We would also like to eventually erect a physical Memorial where we can go and honor those killed outside the line of duty. Hopefully this is something we can all agree on without any hesitation or resistance.
So, without any further lip (I know I can be longwinded at times) I am proud to join in this great cause - a great bunch of people - and speak publicly on their behalf. We are working on some exciting upcoming events including benefit concerts, Police/ Celebrity softball games, auctions, etc. Check out our website http://fallenblue.org and if you have any ideas or would like to contribute, feel free to contact us.
Thank You and God Bless,
Musician, Actor, Writer and National Spokesperson for Fallen Blue