Honoring those who serve and protect here and abroad


86 city officers have answered duty's call

By Angela Rozas
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO &mash; Over here, he was a police officer in the Morgan Park District, catching drug slingers on corners. Over there, he was a major in the Army, teaching the people of Afghanistan how to build hospitals.

If you bumped into Officer Michael Henderson at the training academy, where he works now, you might not know that he has been a military man for 17 years, earning enough rank to command scores of soldiers. That he is proud of every school his men helped teach the Afghani people to build. That he still feels the pain of sending three of his young charges home, shrouded in the U.S. flag.

If you met Probationary Patrol Officer James Kurth, you might think he seems a bit mature to be a rookie. But at 28, Kurth has already spent 11 years in the Illinois Army National Guard. In August 2007, just months after becoming a Chicago police officer, Kurth was sent to Kuwait to help repair aircraft engines, the same engines that would help fly soldiers to Baghdad and Tikrit.

There are 86 stories like Henderson's and Kurth's in the Chicago Police Department. Stories of officers who worked a district or a detective's desk for months or years, then were called to the front lines to fight or the back lines to rebuild.

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