Cpl. Thaddeus Hodge served in the Army for almost 10 years before joining the newly formed Federal Way Police Department. HEIDI SANDERS, the Mirror

Cpl. Thaddeus Hodge served in the Army for almost 10 years before joining the newly formed Federal Way Police Department. HEIDI SANDERS, the Mirror

Hodge finds a career with Federal Way Police Department after serving in military | Veterans Day

Cpl. Thaddeus Hodge has had three jobs in his life. He worked at McDonalds, served in the military and is a 20-year-veteran of the Federal Way Police Department.

Hodge served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1997, before joining the newly formed police department, where he still works today.

“I was out of school. I was still living at my parents house,” Hodge said of his decision to join the military. “My mother came to me and said, ‘Son, you’ve got three choices. You are going to school full time, you are going to get a job full time and move out or you can go in the military.’ I didn’t want to go to college — I was done with school — so I went to the military.”

Hodge’s father and grandfather both served in the Army, so he followed their footsteps when selecting the branch he would join.

He enlisted as military police, and after completing basic training was sent to his first duty station in Bremerhaven, Germany.

“That is where all the ammunition and tanks and everything was shipped into Europe, so my unit was assigned to secure the port whenever things came in,” he said.

This was during the Gulf War, so the port was busy receiving shipments to be sent to the frontlines.

After three years in Bremerhaven, Hodge became a special agent with NATO in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium, where he protected a four-star admiral.

“It entails what Secret Service does with the president — plain clothes, advances on areas, do threat assessments, travel with him, just basically his personal body guard, protected his house at night.”

After three and half years with NATO, Hodge moved to Fort Lewis, now Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where he was assigned to the drug suppression team of the criminal investigations division.

When Hodge got out of the military, the California native and his family decided to stay in the Pacific Northwest.

Law enforcement wasn’t a career path he had considered, but his military experience made him a good fit for the civilian police force.

“Growing up, I didn’t like police. I didn’t like police officers at all,” he said. “Growing up in Stockton, California, I felt I was being profiled and picked on all the time.”

Two decades later, Hodge is pleased his career took the course it did.

“I’m glad I do what I do,” he said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. God directs you in certain directions, and this is just where he directed me.”

Going from the military to the police department was an easy transition, Hodge said.

The Federal Way Police Department employs 54 veterans – 51 commissioned offers and three civilian staff. The department has 126 commissioned officers and 29 civilians.

Although Hodge didn’t see combat during his military service, he is glad he served.

“I think everyone should serve their country, especially the military,” he said. “Especially for a young man or a young female who has no direction, the military is a great institution. It gives you direction. It gives you stability. It matures you quite a bit.”

For Hodge, Veterans Day is about honoring those who sacrificed for their country.

“I served in the military, but I didn’t go out there and fight,” he said. “I am not injured from the war. I was just there. Veterans Day, to me, is really honoring those people whose lives were lost for our country. Those are the ones that I consider deserve this day.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Wearing a shawl she crocheted herself, Irene Graham shows her impressionist art and some of her porcelain dolls that she made herself. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
At 103, Federal Way artist still feels like a kid at heart

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, local centenarian continues creating her porcelain art.

tsr
Rainier Audubon Society to debut first Bird Festival at Flaming Geyser Park

The Bird Festival is being organized with the Washington State Parks department.

The Gnome Trail is located across from Rock Creek Elementary School, 25700 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE, Maple Valley. Photos by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
Gnome Trail draws visitors to whimsical patch of forest in Maple Valley

There is a small issue of broken gnomes and even instances of intentional vandalism.

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
Ask Rajiv: Protecting assets when getting married later in life | Senior Lifestyles

Dear Rajiv: My 88-year-old mother is about to marry a 90-year-old widower.… Continue reading

Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Nonprofit founder Cheryl Hurst, center, with volunteers Karlyn Devereaux, Joe Hutchinson, Cari Franklin and Anna Patrick inside an empty retail space in Federal Way where thousands of diapers were stored during the March of Diapers event.
Charity collects almost 400,000 diapers for local families

The results are in! This year’s March of Diapers donation event, hosted… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
Ask Rajiv: Power of Attorney and sharing financial information | Senior Lifestyles

Dear Rajiv: My question is about the Power of Attorney. My estate… Continue reading

T
King County libraries curate book collections for the community

February’s Black History Month book list includes 25 titles at King County libraries

Teaser
World’s longest surviving kidney patient dies

Mercer Island resident Nancy Spaeth went on dialysis at age 18 and received four kidney transplants.

tsr
Recipe of the Week: Balsamic fig cake

Recipe of the week for Feb. 18.

Photo by Monstera from Pexels
Submit your local love stories

Did you fall in love in Federal Way? Let us know.

The Enumclaw library is passing out free at-home rapid COVID tests. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
8 King County libraries passing out at-home rapid COVID tests

Supply is limited; patrons are asked to limit themselves to two tests per household.