SGT. CHARLES COCHRANE 1943-2008 HAS PASSED May 11, 2008 2:42:36 GMT -5
Post by admin on May 11, 2008 2:42:36 GMT -5
SGT. CHARLES COCHRANE 1943-2008 HAS PASSED AWAY
It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the death of retired Sergeant Charles Cochrane. He made everything we do as gay and lesbian law enforcement professionals possible. He is the ground breaker for us all. Without his courage and vision there would be no GOAL's, LEGAL's, BLUE PRIDE's or anything of that nature. Charlie founded the first chapter of the Gay Officer's Action League in New York in 1982 after testifying at a New York City Council Meeting in November 1981 that he was gay and proud of being a New York City Police Officer. Personally, when I heard that, my life changed. When I finally summoned up the courage to contact him after GOAL was founded, he eased my fears and welcomed me to his group and soon asked me to be a board member. It was an honor to serve under him. He became a good friend and a strong mentor to me and I follow his advice to this day. Although GOAL in New York today bears absolutely no resemblance to what Charlie began, other groups around the country carry the torch he passed to all of us when he retired from the NYPD and GOAL. He retired from NYPD in 1987, telling me, "I don't want to play anymore". And he stepped down from the Presidency of GOAL to become Executive Director. Peter Guardino, another legend, assumed the Presidency from Charlie.
Within a year or two after retiring, Charlie moved to a couple of locations around the country, finally settling in Florida. He knew what he started and didn't feel that he should be part of it forever. He planted the seed and watched the tree grow and stepped back. That was Charlie's way. His way was to not let anyone feel sorry for him or in some cases even let people see him after he became ill with this dreaded cancer. Again, I understood Charlie perfectly. That is Charlie to the max. Unassuming, honest, pragmatic while humorous, loving and caring. In the end, he didn't even want to communicate with people because of his feeling weak and tired. In his last e-mail that I have, he basically said I don't want to do any e-mails till I feel better. Not getting any e-mails lately was a bad sign for me. Charlie was never far from my thoughts. My prayers weren't answered this time. But in a way, maybe they were. For all the loss I feel right now and the loss the real early members of GOAL feel, I can't help but think of something positive about Charlie's passing. I think that since many of the original real GOAL members have passed away and are in Heaven, their Heavenly GOAL meetings are getting just a little loud and boisterous as they used to in the early 1980's here on Earth. Maybe it was time for Charlie to get himself to Heaven and take the reigns of the Presidency of GOAL-HEAVEN. I hope early GOAL members such as Peter Guardino, Joe Coss, Al Block, Fred Agresti, Kevin Flanigan, Ben Licciardi and the rest who've passed, were there to greet him and welcome him to his new life. I hope everyone realizes that a real leader has passed from us. I hope his influence and ideals live on forever. God bless you, Sarge.