IOWA, LA (KPLC) - It's one of the hardest drives an officer will ever have to make - the trip to bring home one of their own for burial. Area law enforcement helped escort Iowa Police Corporal Bryan Meche from the Texas state line. Meche was killed Thursday in an electrical accident at his mother's home near Dayton, Texas.
"It's devastating to all of us. We're a small agency and we're like a family," said Iowa Police Chief Keith Vincent.
The motto at the Iowa Police Department is "Professionalism, honor and integrity," three words that describe Cpl. Meche. Thursday black ribbons and a wreath hung in honor of his service.
Cpl. Meche's law enforcement career began some years ago as a dispatcher for the Westlake Police Department. A short time later he was hired on as a patrol officer for Iowa. Chief Vincent says he wore the badge well.
"He would always help the other guys, especially the new ones... take them under his wing and show them the ropes," said Chief Vincent. "Just a go getter, we kind of say jack of all trades around here. He would wire units and build cabinets for us and then go hit the streets and patrol."
Fellow officer Cole Dickson was one his best friends. "He was very committed to his job, knew his job very well," said Dickson. "He loved to help people, do anything he could for anybody."
23-year-old Meche was not only a proud officer, but a proud soldier. He returned in March after serving a year in Iraq as a military policeman with the 228th National Guard unit. Evan Vincent served with Meche overseas.
"I didn't want to believe it at first. I mean you hate to see that happen to someone who goes to Iraq and returns home safely. Then something like this happens to them," said Evan.
Always wanting to better his edge, Meche was pursuing a criminal justice degree at McNeese State University and had just graduated the police academy. Mourning his loss, both of his families at home and work are set to lay him to rest.
"It's difficult. Last thing you ever want to do," said Dickson.
"We're going to miss him," said Chief Vincent.
Hixson Funeral Home is handling Corporal Bryan Meche's funeral arrangements. Visitation is set for Sunday August 16th from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Saint John Bosco Church in Westlake. A rosary is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue at 8 a.m. Monday followed by the funeral at 1 p.m. A burial will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Westlake with special honors by local law enforcement.