KX News celebrates men and women who serve and have served in the U.S military. In today’s Veteran’s Voices, this is the story of a familiar face at the Ward County Sheriff’s Department.
“In the Marine Corps, they say we served for those who served before us,” said Robert Roed, Marine Corps veteran/sheriff.
Before becoming Sheriff, Roed served in the Marines as a military police officer.
One of his job duties was working in the brig, which he says is a little different than the Ward County jail.
“They stood at parade rest when you talked to them, they stood at attention for headcount. It was still run in a military fashion. They were still pretty respectful people,” Roed said.
He was also part of the funeral detail for active and veteran service members.
“It seems kind of weird to say that was the highlight but I mean it was a privilege to me. It was to honor those people, like I said before, in the Marine Corps, you serve for those who served before you, you honor those who served before you. So, to me that’s what I felt about paying them the respect that they deserve,” Roed said.
“It’s still emotional to hear taps. Whether it’s a law enforcement or military funeral,” Roed said.
After four years, he decided not to re-enlist and moved back to North Dakota from Camp Lejeune.
In 1990, the Ward County Sheriff’s Department hired him. He says the skills he learned in the military definitely stuck with him.
“That’s something that definitely transfers over into your career in the civilian world is looking at the mission rather than the individual,” Roed said.
He started working at the jail and then spent 25 years on patrol.
“If it was up to me I’d probably still be on patrol, but it wasn’t completely up to me. My body and my wife both decided it was time to come off of shift work. I loved working shift work and I loved working patrol, but the bad guys kept getting younger and faster and I didn’t,” Roed said.
He says one of the toughest parts of his long career was watching life go by.
“My kids actually grew up asking when we’re having Christmas. You know, Christmas comes the same time every year, but for us, it came when we had Christmas. Sometimes the day before Christmas, sometimes the day after Christmas, but they– same thing with birthdays, ‘When are we having my birthday this year?'” Roed said.
In 2018, Roed was elected as the Ward County Sheriff.
He takes pride in his position: shining his boots and ironing his uniform. And his time in the service. With pieces of his military career on display in his office, you know he’s a proud military man.
“Good thing about the Marine Corps is there are no former Marines. I’ve said several times, you serve for those who served before you and you’re always a Marine,” Roed said.
Roed says he hopes to continue serving as Sheriff for a couple more terms yet.