This is a picture of Sergeant Mike O’Hala. He is a 26 1/2 year veteran of the Auburn Hills Police Department. And in that 26 1/2 year career he has been involved in just about everything. He’s been a detective and has led officers in the field for many, many years. I was talking to him in the hallway about a week ago and he shared with me a photo of his son, Reid who had just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp. I didn’t know Reid had joined the Marines. It didn’t seem possible! When I came to Auburn Hills Reid was about 2 years old. I can remember him as a small kid holding his dad’s hand and riding his bike in our parking lot while his dad was here for meetings.
Mike has served our profession well in that 26 1/2 years. He has always answered the call on the job when our community needed him — and when our country needed him. Mike volunteered to go to Oklahoma City when they called for help after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. He volunteered to go to Ground Zero, New York City in 2001 and look for survivors and evidence in that incredible act of terrorism. He volunteered again to go to New Orleans after Katrina to help restore order to a city that had lost its ability to function.
And now Reid. At just 20 years old he signed up for the United States Marine Corps in October 2011 under the delayed entry program. He delayed until he had finished his 2 year degree (at his dad’s request) and on August 13th he left for boot camp. I always knew that Mike and Reid were close–I’d seen the football pictures when Reid was in high school and I knew they spent as much time as they could together. While Reid was at boot camp I’m sure that Mike missed Reid greatly– when they didn’t get phone calls and only one letter every couple of weeks.
Mike proudly told me that Reid had said that Mike was his hero and that he wanted to be like his dad. When Reid graduated from boot camp, he knew that now he was like his dad. Serving his country. Although he’d picked a slightly different path, he told his dad that now he was picking up his rifle and standing his post, just as his dad has done for so many years.
Reid was a squad leader in boot camp and he qualified as an “expert” with his rifle. He has been asked to try out for the Silent Drill Platoon school in Washington D.C. which is a ceremonial position that does precision marching like you see at special events. He is currently serving at Camp Pendleton, California in the 3rd Platoon, Delta Company, Infantry Training Battalion.
Mike told me how proud he is of Reid.
We’re all proud of Reid, too and we thank him for his service to our country.