PIQUA — Officer Phil Lloyd of the Piqua Police Department is about to trade in his badge for bars, at least temporarily.
Lloyd, who has served with the police department for nearly a year, is also a 1st lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve attached to the 629th Forward Surgical Team, headquartered in Columbus.
Lt. Lloyd is an operating room/surgical nurse whose team deploys into forward areas to assist with medical situations where a wounded soldier might not make it back to a hospital.
“We are kind of the in-between guys”, said Lloyd.
His unit’s duties could be described as much the same as the Korean War-era M.A.S.H. units, saving the lives of soldiers who need surgical assistance immediately.
Lloyd has been in the U.S. Army Reserve for 2 1/2 years. This deployment will be Lloyd’s first and will take him and a couple dozen other soldiers in his unit to a destination somewhere in the Middle East.
“Half of me is excited,” said Lloyd. “And the other half … you know, I hate leaving this job behind, I really love doing this (working as a Piqua Police officer).”
Another reason Lloyd feels sad about leaving is, like so many other soldiers, he will be separated from his family for a year.
“I kind of feel selfish leaving my family,” said Lloyd. “But they understand, they know that it’s part of the job.”
Lloyd’s wife, Leslie, and their two daughters will be left to guard the home front, but they will not be alone. Chief Bruce Jamison and other members of the department will be helping to keep a watchful eye on Lloyd’s family, should any need for assistance arise.
“We have a lot of veterans here (on the Piqua Police Department),” said Jamison. “And this is one of the things that comes with it.”
“The value that we get with the experience that they bring in from the military makes times like this worth weathering the storm,” Jamison said. “We care a lot about his safety and his family’s well-being when they are left behind.”
The department hosted a carry-in luncheon on Thursday for Lloyd and his family.
“Part of the idea today,” said Jamison, “was to make sure that (Lloyd’s family) knows that they still have support here, even if he is not coming to work every day.”
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335.