[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]
Joshua Cullins, an LAPD officer assigned to Central Division, was killed last week in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where he was serving as a staff sergeant in the Marine reserves. As an active-duty Marine, Cullins had served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, then became a bomb technician after joining a reserve unit. Only last July he was wounded by a roadside bomb, sustaining a concussion that might have been his ticket home had he so chosen.
He was not that kind of man. Few outside the military will comprehend it, but Cullins chose to shrug off the injury and stay with his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, for the duration of their tour. He was due to rotate out of the field two days after he was killed and would have been home by Christmas.
Mike Hillmann, a retired LAPD deputy chief, passed along these words of tribute for Cullins:
Every American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine serving in Afghanistan faces a daily question most of us can scarcely fathom: Will today be my day? And yet somehow they persevere.
Marine Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins was a member of our LAPD family who personified that perseverance. His commitment and dedication to his fellow Marines were unwavering, as exemplified by his decision to remain in theater and complete his tour with his comrades even after sustaining a serious injury.
It is that uncommon commitment that made Joshua Cullins an example of what is best in both the United States Marine Corps and the Los Angeles Police Department. Indeed, Joshua was a shining example of the mottos of both of these proud organizations. The Marines’ motto is “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful), and the LAPD’s is “To protect and to serve.” In his roles as a police officer and a Marine, Joshua protected and served his fellow Americans, ever faithfully, to his last breath.
May he rest in peace.
Michael R. Hillmann
Deputy Chief, LAPD (retired)