Omaha man writes song to encourage first responders

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Police got to see a different face this morning at their daily line-up.

It was Omaha man Steve Spurgeon, and he was there to sing.

Spurgeon has one goal this year, which he can summarize simply:

"To honor first responders as the real superheroes in America," said Spurgeon.

The song he is about to sing across the country is one that was inspired by the nation's darkest hour.

Days after 9/11, Spurgeon wrote his song "Wake Up in the USA."

Now he's taking his song and his star-spangled guitar on a tour across the country, starting in Omaha and Lincoln. On his tour, he shares his story with first responders and encourages them.

"The mental health crisis in the first responder community, I guess, unless you're in the first responder community, you don't really think about it," said Spurgeon, his jean jacket covered with patches from different first responder agencies. "First responders attempt to commit suicide at 10 times the rate of the general public.

Spurgeon founded USA Superheroes. He plans to visits roll calls and firehouses nation-wide in 2020 to honor them as America’s Superheroes.

"It's just like I'm putting a big hug on first responders when I show up," said Spurgeon.

Lincoln Police officers said the support from Spurgeon was tangible.

"It was refreshing," said investigator Lacey Reha. "Today was just a normal day, we have the community support on the appreciation days or even Police Week, but today was just a normal day, and he wanted to come in and remind us to be kind to first responders, and that he appreciated the work we do."

Officer Conan Schafer said: "It was good to hear and to know people are supporting us, and to have him on this mission."

Spurgeon said his song has already made an impact.

"Two days after Christmas, I received a message on Facebook from a lady who said she was going to commit suicide last Christmas," said Spurgeon. "She saw the coverage on the news and she said it made her feel like her life was worth living."

Spurgeon will be hitting 35 states and Washington DC. He will wrap up his inspirational tour this August in Wichita.