Subs for Service
Since 2019, O’Brien Service Company has had the honor of sponsoring Subs for Service. To summarize, Subs for Service highlights the first responders in Wilmington, NC and surrounding areas who continually demonstrate their passion for service and community. From September to December, community members share the stories of how these first responders go above and beyond. During this time, those inspired by their passion can nominate them through the form below. At the end of each month, O’Brien chooses a winner to receive an assortment of snacks and of course, subs!
This month, School Resource Officer Deputy Grady Rohlfing nominated his co-worker, Officer Ben Cookson. He nominated Officer Cookson because of the huge impact he’s made on the school and as a result, is loved by both students and staff alike. His peers also nominated him for the Officer of the Year award, which he won earlier this year. Although it’s not just his peers that notice. The Chief of Police awarded him the Chief’s Commendation. This award is given to officers who have gone above and beyond their line of duty.
Recently, however, Officer Cookson has been dedicating his free time as a mentor for a student in the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy. The Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy is a learning program that provides a safe and structured learning environment for at-risk teens. Deputy Rohlfing shared this instance of how Officer Cookson went above and beyond, yet again.
Officer Ben Cookson’s Story
“When it comes to going above and beyond the job Officer Ben Cookson comes to mind. He goes out of his way to interact with students and build lasting relationships. I could mention several students with whom Officer Cookson has made an impact, but one student stands out.
Officer Cookson was approached by a student who was charged with a few felonies. The student had been given an opportunity to attend the Tarheel Challenge and needed a mentor. This student asked Officer Cookson. Without hesitation, Officer Cookson took this student on as a mentee and began dedicating a lot of time to help the student begin the Tarheel Challenge. Officer Cookson bought the student clothes and supplies and spent countless hours working on the necessary paperwork to get the student enrolled in the new program. He even drove this student and their mother, on a Saturday, to begin this student’s new journey.
Officer Cookson continues to visit this student on weekends when the Tarheel Challenge allows visitors and even brings this student’s best friend. He writes the student letters weekly to encourage them and when the student can visit, takes the student and the student’s best friend out to eat.
I have had the opportunity to read one of the student’s letters they wrote to Officer Cookson and it really shows how much of an impact he has made on this young student’s life.”
Nominate A First Responder Below
This submission among many others is why we here at O’Brien Service love Subs for Service. It’s a chance to share positive and life-changing stories that might not have otherwise been told. If you know a first responder that goes above and beyond, please nominate them and share their story below!