The ceremony honoring Hood County deputy Lance McLean and four other peace officers who had given their lives in the line of duty over the past 12 months went off perfectly – almost.
The Friday, Nov. 22 event was to shine a spotlight on the five names being added to the Lost Lawman Memorial Wall at the Sheriff’s Association of Texas Memorial and Training Center in Austin.
Sheriff Roger Deeds said that the outdoor ceremony went well, featuring an honor guard and closing with a 21-gun salute. Then a pouring rain began, and those who weren’t under the canopy set up for the family members, were soaked.
“It was a very good, very emotional service,” Deeds said, noting that the 45-minute ceremony included brief speeches from both the president and executive director of the Sheriff’s Association as well as the chaplain.
“The Sheriff’s Association did a real good job putting that on. When it was winding down, they came in with the flags, and bagpipes were playing and they had a prayer – then it cut loose and poured on us.”
Other Hood County law enforcement personnel who attended, in addition to Deeds, were Captain Steve Smith, Lieutenant Randy Ellis and Sergeant Andy Honecker from the Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Michael Holly from the Granbury Police Department. McLean’s widow, Katie McLean, his mother Joyce McLean and brother Randy McLean were there to witness the ceremony. Texas state Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) also attended.
“The family members were under the tent,” Deeds said. “Sen. Birdwell and my guys got drenched.”
The other deputies newly honored among the 499 names now etched on the wall were Joshua S. Mitchell of Reagan County, Michael Ray Smith and Billy F. Kennedy Jr. of Upton County and Chad Christian Key of Grayson County.
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