Deputy Aaron Moore had not yet completed the police academy when he deployed to Iraq in 2003. As an enlisted member of the United States Army National Guard, Deputy Moore prepared for war, but he encountered something different. He spent much of his time on foot patrol in Ramadi, a city in Central Iraq, interacting with Iraqi citizens and ensuring their safety. He saw that many were in need, and he did what he could to give them aid, even if that just meant listening. He ultimately spent 18 months in the Middle East.
When Deputy Moore returned to the United States, he finished the academy and became a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy. He realized his experience in Iraq helped him achieve greater empathy and enabled him to recognize the residents in his own community who needed help. He did his best to uplift and aid homeless veterans in his zone and found ways to provide shoes, book bags and other essentials to kids who needed them. When the opportunity arose to join the BSO Homeless Outreach Team, he immediately accepted. He is now an essential part of our Neighborhood Support Team. Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped our agency distribute more than 300,000 boxes of groceries and 2,500 hot meals to those significantly impacted.
Deputy Moore is just one example of the sacrifice, patriotism and bravery of our military veterans and the value they offer to our community long after their tours of duty end. Hundreds of BSO employees are veterans of our armed forces, and many still serve.
BSO works tirelessly to support the veterans in our communities. Two recent examples are in mid-September, we learned a U.S. Navy veteran, who had recently found housing after living on the streets and in shelters, needed furniture for his apartment. Our BSO Homeless Outreach Team used their community connections to find an organization willing to help provide gently used living room and dining room furniture, as well as other household items. In addition, a team of BSO deputies acted as movers to transport the items from the donor to the veteran, bringing comfort and stability to a veteran in need.
We assisted a former Marine earlier this year who served two tours in Iraq and experienced some of the most dramatic and challenging fighting of the war. As a result, he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries, leaving him permanently disabled. BSO, along with community partners, worked on a home remodel for the veteran and his wife.
Central to the BSO ethos is the concept of service. It is what drives each of us to be better public servants and first responders. No group embodies this concept more than our military veterans. This Veterans Day, and every day, we honor the brave men and women who served to protect our freedoms and way of life. We also celebrate the efforts of those who wear the uniform and continue to serve.
Service Equals Reward
Sheriff Gregory Tony