Steve & K-9 Vixen
My name is Steve Turbeville. I grew up in the southern metro area of St. Paul, Minnesota. I have a loving wife, Monica of 14 years, who has seen me go through a lot of things during our time together. I also have a stepson Ben and my son Zach (who is currently serving in the USMC).
I joined the Minnesota Army National Guard out of high school. I went to Dakota Technical College for Telecommunications Technician, graduating in 1989. I spent about 4 years in the National Guard. I was unable to find a job in my field and with the Gulf War started to gear-up, I decided to go active duty in the US Army for 5 years. I was stationed in Germany for 3 of those years. Once I got off active duty, I went back into the Minnesota Army National Guard for about 3 years.
In 2001 everything changed, due to 9/11, I was laid off by the law firm I was working for. I was unable to find a job, and someone told me to check out law enforcement, because we will always need police. I enrolled at Inver Hills Community College for a degree in Law Enforcement. I graduated in 2005. I became a Reserve Officer, then a Community Service Officer during my quest to find a job with a department. I was unable to find a job as a police officer and choose to apply at the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections. I have been with the MN DOC for 18 years. During my time at the MN DOC, I have been a member of the Special Operations Response Team (S.O.R.T.), a mentor, Field Training Officer, and CPR lead instructor.
At the MN DOC things have slowly gone downhill for me (mentally). I have been assaulted 7 times while working here. One of those times while I was working in Segregation an inmate was placed into the recreation room, where unbeknownst to the officer in the bubble, the door was left unsecured accidentally. This offender has a history of staff assaults. This offender snuck up next to the desk I was standing at, started to run full bore at me, and body checked me, I landed about 15 feet from where I was standing. I did not see him until I was in the air, I nearly missed hitting my head of the corner of the desk. I flew down 3 stairs and landed on top of an office chair. I had severe bruising from my right elbow to my knee. I had to go to physical therapy due to ligament damage of my knee. I still have nightmares about this assault.
I also served my community while with the MN DOC by becoming a volunteer/part-time fire fighter at our local fire department for 6+ years. In 2019 the department decided to hire a full-time fire department, and I felt the writing was on the wall to end my time there. I had various traumatic experiences while serving my community.
Things at the MN DOC have been continuously degrading since I first began working here in 2005, however I have always enjoyed the fast-paced life back in Segregation. The staff I worked with there are top-notch. Verbal and physical altercations are common in the unit. I cannot count the number of times I have been threatened or had my family threatened by inmates. This has placed a toll on me as well. July 18, 2018, will be a day I will never forget, the screaming over the radio, the blood on the clothes I put into evidence, Joe Gomm was my best friend.
I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and PTSD by the VA hospital, when I had gone there for a yearly follow-up for my knee (service-connected disability). I meet with a psychologist who prescribed medication to help me with my mental well-being. The meds have helped most of the time, but I still have my days to face the dark foes. I am still being seen at the VA by their Psychology Department.
Earlier this year a friend (Jeremy Gabb) told me about the benefits of his experience with Soldier 6 and having a dog. His words hit me and opened my eyes to how it has helped him. Since I got Vixen she has given me reasons to do things, to smile. I am so grateful for Vixen being a part of my life. Soldier 6 has helped me get through the dark times by giving me Vixen. I am extremely thankful for her and for Soldier 6 for helping me.