Parents of fallen Chattanooga officer say 'thank you' to community
Barry Galinger said his son Nicholas Galinger wore his Chattanooga Police uniform with pride and stood for everything the badge represents.
"We saw our son enter the academy on August 24, 2018. And on January 24, 2019 at his graduation at Calvary Chapel, we saw a police officer," Barry Galinger said.
The father of two came to Chattanooga to become a police officer, graduating from the training academy 30 days before he was killed.
The hardest part, Barry said, is understanding the circumstances surrounding his son's death.
"From a lady who raised two children of her own and she drove away and left our son in a ditch," he added.
Gretchen Galinger struggles to understand why.
The couple was on their way to Chattanooga after learning their son had been killed while on duty. They said they were on the interstate when they witnessed a car crash.
Gretchen said they stopped to make sure the driver was okay. She wishes the driver accused of hitting her son would have done the same.
"We still stopped to help somebody on our way up here because it was the right thing to do," Gretchen said through tears.
The Galinger's hope to one day understand why.
For now, they are focusing on their two grandchildren, ages 14 and 9, who lost their dad.
"We have to try to explain to them what happened to their father, and they adore him," he said.
The Galinger's said the support they have received from the community has been amazing and they want to say thank you.
"The Chattanooga Police Department, they are just so professional. All the people we've talked to, they embrace their police department. I didn't know there was a city that did that," Barry said.
Nicholas Galinger's funeral services will be held on Friday in Cincinnati, where most of his family lives.
There will be a memorial service in Chattanooga next week, those details have not been announced.