An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Deployed defenders honor fallen brothers and sisters-in-arms

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
While tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converged on Washington, D.C., during the week of May 15th for the 2017 National Police Week, military members of the 386th and 387th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadrons hosted their own planned events in Southwest Asia in honor of those law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, in the line of duty, for the safety and protection of others.

In remembrance of each individual who gave their lives for their country, their state and their community, members of the 386th, 387th and coalition forces worked together throughout the week to pay their respects to fallen law enforcement officers. Fourteen security forces members, 12 Office of Special Investigations agents and two Canadian Military Police members were lost during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

“This week we pay tribute to all of them respectfully, professionally and thank them for protecting my family and yours,” said Lt. Col. Jason Medsger, the 387th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron commander,” as he spoke during the opening remembrance ceremony. “Remember all those that paid the ultimate sacrifice, each and every day, not just today or next week. There are families out there that never forget and neither should we.”

Police week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy Jr., when he signed a proclamation, designating May 15th as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. National Police Week pays special tribute to those federal, state and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.

Since the first recorded police death in 1791 there have been more than 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
“Many of those that stand with us today are Guard and Reserve members that not only protect our military forces around the world, but work doubly hard as peace officers in local and state police departments at home,” said Medsger. “These unique personnel face the front lines of terrorism both here and at home, regardless of the uniform they wear. They are a special breed of patriots that respond to our family’s needs when in crisis at home. These defenders deserve an extra pat on the back today for they get no rest in the performance of their duties.”

Many Air Force Reserve Component members, who serve dual roles as military members and civilian LEOs, donned apparel proudly displaying their civilian police departments throughout the week. Citizen Airmen from the New York City Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Miami City Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, West Palm Beach Police department and other departments were represented in the week-long events.

The week’s events kicked off on Mother’s Day with a remembrance ceremony and a military working dog demonstration. The days following showed joint service and coalition force unity through participation in a 5K for the fallen, a homerun derby, a strongest man and women competition, a three-on-three basketball competition, and a wally ball competition.

After all the competitions were finished and the winners were announced, Police Week came to an end with its closing ceremony. Through the most solemn of tributes, the names of those defenders who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for freedom were called during the final guardmount.

“We have gathered here in our community, far from home, as military law enforcement professionals from multiple countries, with shared goals of defending our nations and protecting those who serve beside us,” said Lt. Col. Erik Dutkiewicz, the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron commander, as he spoke during the closing ceremony. “Hopefully this week has provided an opportunity for reflection on our chosen profession…for ours is more than a job, more than a career, more than a mission…as the guardians of our brothers and sisters-at-arms we answer a calling.”