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While professional courses and how-to manuals can prepare us for expected events that will occur in the course of our careers, there remains an untapped reservoir of life experience that cannot be prepared for in training or study. These events and experiences give texture and meaning to our work and shape our character. Filled with stories of courage and inspiration, What They Didn't Teach at the Academy: Topics, Stories, and Reality Beyond the Classroom looks at experiences encountered by public safety and military professionals that were not necessarily encompassed in their training or realistically portrayed in simulations. Topics raised in the stories include: A doctor confronting her own debilitating and potentially fatal disease Cultural awareness and safe travel Suicide among law enforcement officers Departmental harassment of a new police recruit Coping with an addicted spouse Posttraumatic stress disorder Life as a K-9 handler The effect of work obligations on marriage and family Conflicts between moral beliefs and professional principles Debunking myths about Islam The book also examines coping mechanisms for stress and discusses the importance of observation, perception, and communication in facing challenging encounters. Through this collection of vignettes and philosophies, the contributors demonstrate that the lessons of life are not taught in colleges, universities, and academies but through hard experience.