Overcoming Amputation, U.S. Marine Sworn In As Deputy

By  //  August 3, 2014

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Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, right, swears in Cpl. (Ret) Robert Smith of the United States Marine Corps. In May 2008, while on military patrol in Iraq in the city of Fallujah, Robert’s Unit encountered an IED that exploded, injuring several in the unit including Robert, who lost his right leg. (BCSO image)

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, right, swears in Cpl. (Ret) Robert Smith of the United States Marine Corps. In May 2008, while on military patrol in Iraq in the city of Fallujah, Robert’s Unit encountered an IED that exploded, injuring several in the unit including Robert, who lost his right leg. (BCSO image)

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey Swears In Injured U.S. Marine Robert Smith As Deputy

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – During Friday’s Swear-In Ceremony I had the opportunity to swear-in a new Deputy Sheriff whose story of patriotism, overcoming challenges, heroism, commitment and determination deserves special recognition and appreciation.

On Friday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office swore in Cpl. (Ret) Robert Smith of the United States Marine Corps. Almost his entire life, Robert wanted to be a law enforcement officer but chose to serve his country first by joining the USMC.

On Friday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office swore in Cpl. (Ret) Robert Smith of the United States Marine Corps. Almost his entire life, Robert wanted to be a law enforcement officer but chose to serve his country first by joining the USMC.

On Friday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office swore in Cpl. (Ret) Robert Smith of the United States Marine Corps.

Almost his entire life, Robert wanted to be a law enforcement officer but chose to serve his country first by joining the USMC.

LOSES LEG IN IED EXPLOSION

In May 2008, while on military patrol in Iraq in the city of Fallujah, Robert’s Unit encountered an IED that exploded, injuring several in the unit including Robert who lost his right leg.

In a split second Robert’s entire life changed and threatened his ability to achieve his goal of one day serving as a law enforcement officer.

The explosion was actually videoed by the terrorists, who then played it on Al Jazeer, showing Robert being severely injured. [CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND VIEW THE VIDEO]

Robert would later receive a copy of the video, that to this day he occasionally watches to motivate him to succeed and to remind him of how precious life is.

Following the incident, Robert was awarded the Purple Heart and was fitted with a prosthetic leg.

With the help of his incredible wife Natalie and family and the local organization, “Sentinels of Freedom Space Coast” that strongly supports our veterans, Robert refused to give up on his dream.

Following the incident, Robert was awarded the Purple Heart and was fitted with a prosthetic leg. With the help of his incredible wife and family and a local organization, the "Sentinels of Freedom" that strongly supports our veterans, Robert refused to give up on his dream.

After being injured, Robert Smith was awarded the Purple Heart and was fitted with a prosthetic leg. With the help of his incredible wife Natalie and family, and the local organization “Sentinels of Freedom Space Coast” that strongly supports our veterans, Robert refused to give up on his dream.

Almost two years ago, Robert made it very clear that he hoped to one day still be able to serve his community as a Deputy Sheriff.

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Myself and Chief Mike Lewis were present and extended an offer to Robert that if he could pass the Law Enforcement Academy, our background requirements, and our intensive Physical Assessment Test (PAT), we would hire him as a Deputy Sheriff.

Our PAT consists of a 400-yard run, hurdles, low crawls, dragging a 150 pound mannequin 40 yards –and other skill tests that must all be completed in under four minutes.

Robert Smith graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy at Eastern, and on Friday, realized his dream when he was sworn-in as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. "Watching his wife pin his badge on him was one of the most touching things I have ever seen," said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Robert Smith graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy at Eastern Florida State College, and on Friday, realized his dream when he was sworn-in as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. “Watching his wife Natalie pin his badge on him was one of the most touching things I have ever seen,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Two weeks ago, Robert graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy at Eastern Florida State College, passed our background requirements with flying colors, completed the PAT in under four minutes, and yesterday realized his dream when he was sworn-in as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Watching his wife Natalie pin his badge on him was one of the most touching things I have ever seen, and I could not be more proud of him for his incredible accomplishment.

Robert refused to allow his injury to derail his dream of serving his community and clearly demonstrated that determination, will to succeed, family support and commitment can overcome any challenge.

Robert Smith graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy at Eastern, and on Friday, realized his dream when he was sworn-in as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. "Watching his wife pin his badge on him was one of the most touching things I have ever seen," said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Deputy Robert Smith with his proud family – wife Natalie and daughters Keira and Khloe. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Robert now becomes the second member of our agency that was severely injured while serving our country and overcame the challenges to later serve as a Deputy Sheriff.

Tyler Harrell, who has served as a Deputy Sheriff with our agency for nearly two years, lost his hand from an explosion and went on to achieve his goal of following in his Dad’s (Sgt. Gary Harrell) footsteps to become a Deputy Sheriff.

Please join me in congratulating Deputy Smith on his incredible achievement and in thanking all of our Veterans that work at our agency for their service to help protect our country and community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.

That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.

Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.

Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.


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