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KSLA Salutes: Iraq veteran reflects on serving as a Marine

Welch served four years as a U.S. Marine. He now serves as an officer at BCPD.
Welch served four years as a U.S. Marine. He now serves as an officer at BCPD.(Matt Welch)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Matt Welch was 18-years-old when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

“I was young and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” Welch said. “Didn’t really have a clear direction so I figured that was probably my best bet.”

Welch served four years; he did several tours in Iraq, going to Ramadi in 2005 and 2006, and then to Fallujah in 2007.

“My biggest takeaway is it doesn’t matter who you work with or work for, you can always find common ground to complete the mission at hand with whoever you have beside you,” Welch said.

He has now been with the Bossier City Police Department for the last three years.

“I woke up one day and realized I wanted to help,” Welch said. “I wanted to do what I could, so I showed up, applied, and next thing you know they said I was hired.”

He now works as a patrol officer and is on the SOS team, or Special Operations Services team. He says he applies what he learned in the Marine Corps to his position at BCPD, especially in SWAT situations.

“If I can’t trust whoever is in front of me or behind me, then you are there by yourself,” Welch said. “You are going to have to rely on who is beside you. You talk to them and they talk to you. If you don’t have their back or if they don’t have your back you are not going to be successful in anything you do.”

He says if anyone is interested in joining the military or becoming a law enforcement officer, to go for it.

“It’s an absolute great experience on both sides,” Welch said. “I enjoyed being in the military. There were tough times, but there were more great times. Coming here, that transfers over. There are a lot of good people here.”

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