The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


February 4, 2006


Trooper uses father’s advice: ‘Do your best,’ day after day


After his college graduation, he indeed became a federal employee of sorts. He joined the Marines.

“At the time, I thought I might stay in and make it my career,” he said. However, with each trip home, he found himself more reluctant to return to the military base. He wanted to come home.

The State Police seemed the perfect choice to use both his military experience and his criminal justice degree.

He did continue his service in the Marine Reserves, retiring in June as a lieutenant colonel select.

Just prior to his retirement, he served in Iraq for seven months, then did five additional months of active duty at the Pentagon.

Bishop earned a Bronze Star for his service.

- - -

It was during his time in Iraq last year that those survival instincts served him best.

“My experience in Iraq is like you see on the news times 1,000,” he said.

“It’s even more dangerous than it looks. That is the most dangerous place I’ve ever been in.”

He was the field team leader of a Marine unit that was helping gather tactical information and observe procedures used by the insurgency.

“We were like storm chasers. We went to the units that had the most activity with the insurgents,” Bishop explained.

No matter their location, Bishop said, personnel were vulnerable to attack by mortar fire, by ambush, and by the IED (improvised explosive device), or a combination of all three.

IEDs cause nearly 50 percent of all the deaths to U.S. personnel in Iraq, he noted.

“You could always hear it — the mortar fire, the IEDs — it was always close by,” he recalled.

“When you’re trying to take care of your wounded and killed, and you start taking mortar rounds, it’s easy to focus on what you’re trying to do and forget about your own safety,” he emphasized.

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