The Three Brave Veterans Lost in Dallas

With their families still in shock, the nation mourns their passing

Three of the five law enforcement officers in Dallas who were killed in cold blood by a hateful sniper last Thursday night had a strong history of service to the nation.

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They were not only dedicated police officers — they were war veterans who served this country loyally and bravely.

“The loss of these men — the loss of all of the officers in Dallas — has me sick and upset,” said the wife of a Vietnam War-era veteran in New York. “My heart truly goes out to the families.”

Related: Why the Police Need More Respect

“It is incomprehensible that these men could serve half a world away in the most dangerous of circumstances and then come home only to be shot dead by another American,” said one Boston, Massachusetts, Iraq War army veteran. “If we don’t return to the respect we used to have for law enforcement — the vast majority of whom are decent, responsible people — we will soon look like the third-world nations we see on TV, the ones we pity.”

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At least two of the slain officers served in the Middle East, while a third was an Army Ranger, according to the New York Post.

Brent Thompson, 43, was a DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) transit cop who had married just three weeks before he was murdered — his new bride, Emily, worked on the same force. He joined DART in 2009, and wrote on his LinkedIn page, “I am constantly looking for new ways to serve the department.”

Before joining DART, Thompson was an international police liaison officer for DynCorp, a military contractor, and helped train police officers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Thompson was the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Related: The Victims of the Dallas Police Massacre

Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, did three tours in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Middle East prior to joining the force. He was also murdered in the Dallas massacre.

His father, Rick Zamarripa, who lives about 40 miles outside Dallas, told The Washington Post, “He comes to the United States [from overseas] to protect people here. And they take his life.”

Zamarripa had been a bike patrolman, a job he really enjoyed, according to reports. When Rick Zamarripa saw the television coverage of the shootings on Thursday around 9 p.m., he reached out to his son — who usually replied right away to any texts from his father.

The father did not hear back.

The Thursday night rally in Dallas, a city of over one million residents, had been peaceful, with officers protecting those protesting their own brothers and sisters in blue; people chatted and exchanged laughs and smiles as they all walked together. But even in the hours after the officers were assassinated, some in the BLM movement continued to preach the mantra of hate and aggression toward those who protect and serve all Americans.

Sergeant Smith delighted in turning on his police car car lights for children.

The liberal media prioritized the woes of angry protesters over the slaughtering of police in their analysis — and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton preached to white Americans about listening harder to the “legitimate cries” of black Americans. Meanwhile, social media giant Facebook allowed a post of a violent cartoon of a police officer having his throat slit on a “Black Panther Party Mississippi” page to remain — a page visited by the Dallas killer, according to the Daily Mail.

Facebook has refused to take it down, apparently saying it does not violate the company’s “community standards,” and ruling that the image does not “promote graphic violence.”

“I think it is sickening that the so-called Black Lives Matter crowd has been allowed to have mainstream access [to the media],” Darrell Gulstrom, a retired Air Force veteran from Beaverton, Oregon, told LifeZette. “The movement is based on lies.”

Sergeant Michael J. Smith, who joined the Dallas Police Department in 1989, was also murdered Thursday night. He was a former Army Ranger, according to The Post, and a father of two young daughters. He was 55. In 2009, he was awarded the “Cops’ Cop” award by a local police association.

Related: Wearing a Badge in a Volatile World

Smith delighted in turning on his police car lights for children, The Times reported, and had gone from church security officer to church member at Watermark Community Church in Dallas.

At Watermark church services on Sunday, a “Message from Todd” was handed out from Pastor Todd Wagner, which called Dallas a war zone. “As part of that war, darkness has been growing in our country because for some time, leaders and citizens alike have mocked” the light of God, he wrote.

“I just think it’s a shame,” said a New York veteran who served two years in the U.S. military. “These men served in our armed forces — only to come home to die at the hands of a maniac. Terrible.”

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