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Face of Defense: Deputy Follows in Coworkers’ Footsteps

By Lance Cpl. Evelio Ramos, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C., Jan. 31, 2008 – Joining the Marine Corps family has been a tradition for countless generations of Marines. Some join because a father, grandfather or another family member was a Marine. But new Marine Pfc. Brett Lockhart decided to join after some of his coworkers motivated him to become part of another family.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Pfc. Brett Lockhart, a new Marine and former police officer, stands with his former coworkers from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in Titusville, Fla., who came to his recruit training graduation. Photo by Lance Cpl. Evelio Ramos, USMC
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Lockhart was a deputy sheriff at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, in Titusville, Fla., where out of nearly 1,000 police officers, 15 of them are former Marines. After working as a deputy sheriff for two years, he decided to give the Marine Corps a chance.

"I wanted to be able to fight both battles," Lockhart said. "I've already fought the local battle, but after 9-11, if anything else happens, I want to be there."

Before enlisting, Lockhart talked to the deputies he worked with so he could get an idea of what the Marine Corps is about.

"I got a lot of advice from them," Lockhart said. "They told me what to expect from training, and I know that gave me an advantage."

Lockhart enlisted in the Marine Corps in July as an amphibious assault crewman. During his graduation from recruit training, Lockhart received a special visit from eight of his former coworkers, welcoming him to the brotherhood.

"We are very happy to see Brett graduate," said Sgt. Frank T. Hickman, a deputy sheriff with the department. "Being a Marine is something that's always inside of you. It's good to see him join the family."

Lockhart said he had an idea that the deputies would come, but that after he saw their faces during family day, he could not describe the feeling.

"It was extremely encouraging to see them there," Lockhart said. "It really shows that the Marine Corps is truly a brotherhood."

"We are all very proud of Brett down at the station," Hickman said. "We want him to know he'll have a job waiting for him whenever he gets back."

(Marine Lance Cpl. Evelio Ramos serves at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.)

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