Deputy Sheriff Robert Hedman Eulogy
Robert W. Hedman Jr., was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, December 18th 2004, near Cloudcroft, NM. Bob was born on July 2nd, 1955, in Cooperstown New York. He served in the United States Army for 21 years retired as a Staff Sergeant. He was a Vietnam Nam Veteran, serving with the Special Forces as an MP. He was also awarded the Bronze Star during this time.
After his military retirement, he served with the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the Tularosa Police Department, and has been with the Otero County Sheriff's Department for over two years.
Survivors include his wife, Cheryl, a son Robert Hedman III, a daughter Lorrie Hedman, of Tularosa; a step son, Mark Miller, of Albert Lea, Minnesota; A step daughter Melinda Miller and her fiancé Tim David; two grandchildren Caleb and Faith Miller of Minnesota; his mother Dolores Hedman of Maryland, NY; and two brothers, Fred Hedman and his wife Rhoda, and Ralph Hedman and his wife Jackie, also from Upstate NY. Bob was preceded in death by his father Robert Hedman Sr.
We are here to pay tribute to a unique man that had so many positive qualities. A lot of you here may not know much about Bob, but he had the qualities that are hard to find in this day and time. He was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. Even though he was quiet and old fashioned in ways, he was an extremely caring, considerate, and respectful man. When he came into my office for whatever reason, he would stand at attention. This bothered me and I told him to knock it off, but he insisted in doing so out of respect. Old Army habits are hard to break. He was an extremely hard worker and was very tolerant and patient with others. Bob never sat idle and always had numerous projects going. There is no doubt that if Bob could help another person in some way he would be there, I believe he was what you call a real friend, not just a fellow worker. A totally unselfish man.
Robert Hedman, was an officer that was very dedicated to his job and family. Through his two years and three months of service with the Sheriff's office I learned that he loved law enforcement and was fulfilling his life's dream. His goal was to become a Deputy with this department and work in the mountains. He accomplished these goals and was a most dedicated and well respected officer. Bob had truly found his niche in life. Last Friday myself and the Chief Deputy David Henley had lunch with Bob and he expressed to us how happy he was to be in the mountains serving the community and how he had many plans for the future. We talked about submitting his papers to advance from Deputy II to Deputy III. Bob said that he would put in these papers, but he stated that his job wasn't about the money. This day, I looked in Bob's eyes and could tell how happy he was, for us to come to Cloudcroft, just to have lunch with him. We didn't know that this would be our good-bye to him, but I'm so thankful we shared this day with him.
Bob had so much going for him, a wonderful wife, beautiful children and a love for life. When you look at Bob's children you see a reflection of him, he dedicated his life to his children and career. He was a supportive husband that looked forward to spending his days off with his wife Cheryl, the love of his life. Bob was in the process of building a house for his family in the mountains where he felt he was at home.
Bob is a true hero. He saw something that night that caused him to put his life on the line. He paid the ultimate price, but a little girl is alive because of his actions. Bob is fine: his earthly life finished, and now his life will be eternal. All of us remaining are hurting, so it is important for us to understand that God doesn't give us things, we can not handle. Give each other support and don't be a rock.