Los Angeles: Today, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief William Bratton held a special "meet and greet" to welcome back Sergeant Jose Melendez to the Department after serving two military active-duty tours in Iraq.
Before joining the LAPD in 2002, Melendez joined the California National Guard in 1999. His first tour of duty in Iraq was from November 2004 to December 2005. It was during this period that he had his most gratifying experiences. "My most rewarding experience was training younger American and Iraqi soldiers to be the best leaders," he said, "so that when I left, they would be the experienced ones…and the cycle would continue."
Melendez’ second tour of duty in Iraq lasted from March 2007 through May of this year, and he has no regrets about his time in military service. "I serve because I have pride in my country, confidence in my government and faith in my fellow soldiers to bring me home safely," he said. He also believes in the importance of helping the Iraqi people to ensure their safety and promote economic growth by creating a stable, democratic society.
Melendez is a native Californian from Burbank who now resides in Riverside County. Coming back to the Department, he looks forward to resuming his duties at the Van Nuys Division. "Most of all, I’m glad to be back home with the family and friends who endured the hardship of my absence," he said. "And it’s really great to come back to the LAPD."