By: Paul Foreman
There is a friend of mine, a retired deputy sheriff named Gary Kamp, who just went to be with the Lord. He was one of the finest deputy sheriffs I ever had the sincere pleasure of knowing and working with. Sometimes, words on paper just don’t seem adequate to say what I really mean.
I just have to tell a true story about Gary. My intentions by telling this story is by no means meant to glorify what I did. I will be posting this story on Gary’s Facebook page, specifically honoring him.
Gary was a Christian man and it always showed in his demeanor and actions. Gary was diagnosed with cancer about the same time I was, in late 2015. He and his wife Marie had retired over near Knoxville. I did not know about Gary’s cancer until I saw a woman in the waiting room at The Cancer Center in Huntsville. She looked a lot like Gary’s wife Marie. I was rushing to another appointment, so I did not stop and say anything. As it turned out, it was not her. But, it lead me to contact them on Facebook, and later I found that Gary was indeed being treated for cancer at a Cancer Center in Knoxville.
I followed his posts and that of Marie for about a year. He seemed to be getting better.
Then, two weeks ago, I saw where his brother posted that Gary was in Hospice Care. That posting stunned me. Gary was a Warrior Fighter of the highest order. Gary lost his final battle with cancer on Friday, Sept. 1.
The story: One night about midnight I was on the way back to my assigned zone when I heard, via the patrol car radio, TEN TWENTY FOUR! This is radio code for trouble send help! It is not used lightly. The radio was then silent. I waited a bit then said, “Wasn’t that K-9 105 calling for help? Where is he?” “The dispatcher then came on with K-9 105, repeat your last.” Silence. I repeated my request for his location. “He is on Aldridge, right behind the Fire Station off Crystal Dr.”
I did not bother to wait for the Watch Commander to approve a Code 3 run. I hit the switches for the lights and siren, and took off like a banshee. Gary was a big guy, not fat, but big and muscular. If he called Ten Twenty Four on the radio, he really needed it! I blew through a few traffic light, and the engine on my Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was screaming. I turned onto the street, and at first, I could I could only see Gary’s patrol car. His K-9 was going berserk in the back. Then, I spotted Gary struggling with the suspect down on the ground under some orange trees. Gary had the bad guy in a death grip and wasn’t letting go. The bad guy had Gary in a death grip and wasn’t letting go either! I knew the bad guy. I had been to this house before. This bad guy just loved beating up his wife as often as he could.
I bailed out of my car and headed into the fray. I was a lot heavier in those days, about 235, not including the gun belt and gear. I hit that bad guy like a runaway freight train. Grabbing him around the neck, I rolled him away from Gary and with my 235 lbs. on his neck, I got him cuffed! It would be an understatement to say that Gary was very pleased to see me.
But, my praise goes to Gary. He had refused to give up! His radio had been knocked into some tall weeds. The remote door lock that would have released the K-9 was pinned between their bodies and Gary could not get to it. The bad guy went to jail after he visited the local Emergency Room for treatment of some unspecified injuries. If Gary had given up and let go, would the bad guy, have run off or attacked and tried to get Gary’s gun?
It’s the same way when civilians are defending themselves. DON’T EVER GIVE UP! Your life and the lives of your loved ones will depend on you NOT giving up. Here is a word of wisdom for wives and older children. This is controversial. Jump in and help your husband or father! Grab a baseball bat, hockey stick, or a lamp and use it on the bad guy when fighting for your life.
Rest in peace Gary Kamp. You are in the arms of the Lord Jesus. No more sorrow, no more pain. No more worries no more tears. You are TEN EIGHTY SEVEN. Your watch is over now. Your friends with take it from here.
By: Paul Foreman