At first glance, Kansas City, Missouri, police officer Nathan Magers isn’t someone you want to mess with. He’s a big guy, bald head, impressive ink. Get to know Magers, however, and you’ll meet a man who meditates twice a day and practices mindfulness on the regular.
The journey to meditation and mindfulness did not come without its challenges for the 17-year veteran of the police department, who also served two combat tours in Iraq as a member of the United States Marine Corps.
“I knew I needed help when other people could see I had a problem. And that I wasn’t the old me,” Magers said. “I decided to enter TBW (The Battle Within) when another veteran/first responder had the courage to tell me he thought I needed help. He was able to see things in my life I was blind to. And I will be forever grateful for his courage and vulnerability to approach me with this.”
Magers was facing dire consequences if he did not seek help to improve his mental health. The Battle Within is a local nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders deal with service-related trauma.
“I was on my way to a second divorce and was likely going to lose the relationship with my kids in the process. But this program allowed me the opportunity to change myself for the better and in turn change my family for the better. I jumped into the process with both feet.
“TBW has impacted my life on many levels. Had I not gone through this program, I would not be the same man I am today. My life changed forever by making the decision to break the normal and step into the change.
“And now, in a leadership role, I am afforded the honor of helping our men and women veterans and first responders navigate the darkness of PTSD and begin to find the light at the end of their tunnel – the light that represents actually living instead of just surviving.”
During his career with the KCPD, Magers has been a patrolman and has been assigned to the ATV unit. Currently, he is assigned to the traffic division serving as a DUI enforcement officer.
In addition to being a program director for The Battle Within, Magers works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving
“I wanted to become a police officer to help people and make a difference in the world,” Magers said.
Magers was born and raised in the Kansas City area. He graduated from Oak Park High School.
“KC is my heart and I have never wanted to leave, so I still live here today.”
Husband to Jennifer and dad to three children ranging in age from 13-20, Magers has advice for other first responders living with trauma.
“If you are hearing this and wondering if you could use some help, the answer is ‘yes.’ If you’re already thinking you might, then you are already past needing to get help. My encouragement to others is to get the help you need now. Don’t wait until after failed marriages and lost relationships with kids, or even suicidal thoughts to start getting help. Do it now before it’s too late.”
He sought help and then sought to help others. For these reasons, Kansas City, Missouri, Police officer Nathan Magers has been selected as a “Blue KC Hometown Hero.” The honor is awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City in partnership with the Kansas City Royals. Nate will be recognized at the Royals game on Friday, May 20.