Lynchburg, VA - On any given shift at the Lynchburg Police Department you'll find nearly every military branch represented. One such representative is Officer Tony Lowrey, a former Marine.
Lowrey's gone from protecting our country from foreign enemies to protecting citizens of Lynchburg from threats closer to home.
"I really can't see myself doing anything else," said Lowrey. "Some people just have it in them to be natural protectors. Knowing that there's people out there that are willing to willingly go into harm's way to protect other people, it says a lot about it. A lot of former military guys tend to do this a lot easier. It's almost second-nature for them at this point."
Lowrey was in the Marines from 2001 to 2005. He served two tours in Iraq. In 2009, he joined the Lynchburg Police Department.
His best friend on the force is also a former Marine, which is something that comforts Lowrey's wife.
"With him and his military background, I'm a little more reassured that he's ok, that you know he'll be ok, that he has backup, that there are guys looking after him and he's looking after them also," she said.
Backup is a bit of an understatement. Lowrey says the bonds formed both in the military and on the force are unbreakable.
"It's a brotherhood. You have to rely on your partner to have your back in those situations," said Lowrey.
Situations that can escalate in a matter of seconds--from a routine house call to a dangerous and compromising situation.
"I just keep praying every night to keep him safe. Because you don't know what's behind that door, you know what's behind that phone call that he's going to," said Lowrey's wife.
Lowrey says that's when his military training kicks in. He says the more dangerous a situation, the better and faster he responds - keeping himself, his fellow officers and us safe.
"That's all this job is…is to do it safely and go home at the end of the shift. That's all we're after. And if I can help somebody else do that, and they can help me do that, it's all about the teamwork."
Lowrey doesn't like to be called a hero. He says he's never done anything to deserve such a title. He calls himself a messenger for the real heroes: The men and women who don't make it home from battle.