WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Officer Brian Arterburn is doing well enough that he is now able to enjoy fishing from a wheel chair he uses. He’s also been seen recently chatting it up with his work partner, officer Janette Griggs. But equally important, he’s getting continued support on his long road to recovery.
“The signs you see in the yard, this is all just typical Wichita. The support is so uplifting,” says Arterburn’s mom, Mary Arterburn. “Brian loves looking at the cards. He got thousands of cards from kids in schools. And they were so cute. And one little boy wrote, ‘Dear Officer Arterburn, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you have a good nap in surgery.”
Mary Arterburn smiles broadly while telling that story. She also says, along with thousands of cards, her home is now surrounded by yards signs.
The signs say “Officer Brian Arterburn our thoughts & prayers are with YOU and and your Family. We believe in Heroes.”
And there are blue lights in the quiet neighborhood where Mary lives, to show support.
“One of my friends just went and bought blue lights to support Brian, and started giving them out to the neighbors,” says Mary Arterburn. “I don’t sleep a lot but I know that I’ve got all my neighbors and I’ve got all the officers supporting me. And now I go places and people see me and they want to hug me. They tell me they are praying for Brian.”
Mary says she shares all those stories with Brian. And, she says, Brian just wants to come home.
But, while he continues with rehabilitation, the support continues.
The group ICT SOS is also doing something this week to help keep up the level of support for Brian Arterburn.
ICT SOS employees work with police officers, as they do what they can to stop human trafficking. ICT SOS founder Jennifer White posted the idea for a card shower for Brian, Sunday night.
“Brian has up and down days and one of the things he worries about is that people might forget about him and so I thought this would be a fun way to let him know Wichita hasn’t forgotten about him,” says White. “This kind of took on a life of its own. I kind of posted it on a whim Sunday night, and this morning when I went to the gym, it had been shared over 400 times.”
Mary Arterburn says she is hopeful Brian can come home soon. But, she says, he still has a lot of work to do.
“He’s worked so hard to get to where he is today,” says Mary. “And this support? Thank you and keep praying for Brian and all the first-responders. Every one of them. My heart goes out to them. I pray for them every day.”
Wichita police say the community has shown incredible support for Brian, and they appreciate it.
“Brian and his family and wife… I’ve spoken to them routinely, personally. And they appreciate it immensely,” says Wichita Police Department Detective Dave Niendstedt. “The outpouring of monetary support has been phenomenal and they appreciate that. But just the support in general they have received from the Wichita community, all the thoughts and prayers and well wishes, that is so uplifting and means so much.”
Niendstedt says officer Arterburn has been on the force for nearly 26 years. And he says Brian loves the support as much as he loves his job.
“No doubt,” says Niendstedt. “You know, sometimes you laugh and sometimes you cry. So that support just means so much to the family. That kind of support just motivates Brian and he wants to come home and this just motivates him.”
The cards for Brian Arterburn will be delivered by ICT SOS.
Cards can be sent to:
Attn: Officer Brian
1211 S. Emporia
Wichita, KS 67211