In a comfortable home in Beckley, brothers Ron and Londell Booker sit together and reminisce on their very similar, yet very different journeys of serving their country, then serving their communities.
“Every since I was child I dreamed of being a soldier and police officer,” Ron recalled.
Contrary to his older sibling.
“I didn’t want to be a police officer when I grew up,” Londell laughed. “When I got out of school, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I always wanted to be a Marine though.”
They both made their dreams come true. Londell enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1981 before his little brother Ron enlisted in the U.S Army shortly after in 1982.
“The Marine Corps took a young man with no purpose and no direction, and made a man out of him,” Londell said proudly.
After returning home, their paths went in different directions when Londell moved to Maryland in 1988. However, it did not stop them from having a lot in common as they both went from serving their country, to serving the people where they lived.
“Being in law enforcement is paramilitary, so it’s somewhat structured the same,” Ron stressed. “I think being in the military helped me in my law enforcement career.”
Ron began working as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Raleigh County for local, state, and federal drug task forces. Londell, who once did not want to be a cop, proved himself wrong as he worked with the federal police in a much bigger city than he has ever known.
“Maryland was a little more active, I mean there’s a lot more people,” Londell said. “You’re talking about the Baltimore and Washington area which is six million people maybe.”
With two honorable experiences under their belts, Londell and Ron both now reside in Raleigh County, retired, and enjoying the down time. They now root for the steelers, relax, and lend a helping hand to their families.
Yet, the physical pain that stems from their strenuous careers is still being felt. When Londell first got into the Marine Corps, he hurt his knees. They did not bother them throughout his police career until one day when he responded to a bank robbery call in Maryland, and twisted his knee jumping quickly out of a police car. He has since had 11 knee surgeries and does physical therapy through the VA.
Regardless, the tragedy and pain was forever worth the gratitude of being able to save and serve day after day for the majority of their lives.