Military Matters: Serving city and country
Special Police Officer Patrick Kirby and Fire Captain Bryan McAlister work in two different departments but they have a lot in common including rushing to emergencies, keeping the city safe and serving in the military.
SPO Kirby has worked with the Meridian Police Department for 27 years and said his military experience played a large role in his decision to be an officer.
"If you were to ask all of the military personnel, most of them will tell you they will never get into another uniform service and then three months later they're in the police department,” said Kirby.
Kirby spent 10 and a half years in the Marine Corps and later joined the Army National Guard. Kirby told Newscenter 11 while in the guard, he was able to join MPD.
"Once you get into a regimen of you get up early in the morning you're in a uniform, your boots have to be polished, and everything has to be the same way… the police department is much like the military,” said Kirby.
Like Kirby, Fire Captain Bryan McAlister knows about balancing city and country.
"It works fairly well, luckily the city and the fire department are both very supportive of the military,” said McAlister.
McAlister is currently in the Air National Guard. He joined in the 1980s and now continues to serve as a first sergeant, all while saving lives.
"Here we have to work as team to get a common goal accomplished, it's the same way with the military,” said McAlister. "I think it's a calling, people say you're heroes and this and that but I think it's just something you felt like you were called to do."
Whether they were wearing a badge or military ribbons pinned on their shirt, these heroes have spent years protecting their city, country and countless places in between.