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Sheriff’s Office donates wrapped car to veteran

The Clinton County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 22, 2019, honors Deputy Ryan West, a veteran who served 18 years with the Marine Corps, with a wrapped police car. (WLFI Photo)

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s a dedication that will last a lifetime.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office honored Deputy Ryan West, a veteran who served 18 years with the Marine Corps, with a wrapped police car honoring his years of service to the country and now the county.

“I totally didn’t expect it,” West said. “I was expecting it to come back looking like that one. Like everybody else’s.”

West approached the sheriff asking if he could have his car restripped. That request was taken a step further.

“He says, ‘Hey , can I get some new stickers for my vehicle. They are faded,’” said Sheriff Rich Kelly.

It was Kelly’s wife’s idea to have the vehicle wrapped to honor West’s service. Kelly said it was an easy decision to make.

“For somebody to retire from a tour of duty like that — 20 years in the Marine Corps, 18 years in the Marine Corps — all of that work he has put into that,” said Kelly. “Then to come back home and choose a job in law enforcement is a pretty special person.”

West said the vehicle reminds him of a lot. Even being grateful for overcoming a tragic accident he experienced years ago when he was a Marine.

“I was with 1st Battalion night Marines at the time stationed out of Camp Mizzou, North Carolina,” West said. “We were in Hawthorne, Nevada, training to go back to Afghanistan when a mortar actually blew up inside the tube.”

That accident killed seven Marines and severely injured eight others, including West. He said he wants to continue cherishing his life by making sure other’s are safe.

“I usually don’t ask for recognition by any means,” West said. “So this is kind of a big surprise. I just hope that everybody sees that we are still out there. We’re willing to stand up and do what’s right for people.”

West will spend 16 weeks in Indianapolis at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He will undergo training and will return to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office after he has graduated.