Erie Police Officer Served in the U.S. Army for 8 Years: Remembering Our Veterans
Our weekly series, Remembering Our Veterans, continues with the story of Leroy Learn. A graduate of North East High School, he served 8 years in the U.S. Army, and then continued to serve when his tour of duty ended.
After sitting down with Leroy Learn, it's easy to understand why serving his country means so much to him.
"My father served in Vietnam, my grandfather served in World War 2," said Learn. "So, the idea of me serving was never a question."
He left for basic training at the age of 18 in August of 2001, and his world took a major turn four weeks later.
"September 11th was my first day of basic, my very first day in basic training," Learn. "It was surreal almost. You're sitting there and I just told everyone you know we're not going to war anytime soon, and now I'm going as soon as I get to my unit."
Learn did multiple tours during his eight years in the Army, and rarely does a day go by that he doesn't think about the people he served with.
"That shared experience, whether it's my first tour or my fourth tour. Those guys who were there with me, some of them I did all four tours with," said Learn.
After serving in the Army, Learn worked as a valet when a retired sheriff's deputy steered him in the direction of the police academy.
He's been an officer ever since, and is currently a member of the Erie Police Department.
"It was a great move, I can't ask for a better place to work. We are busy," said Learn. "Most of the men and women I work with at EPD, I have no difference in compulsion towards them then I do someone in the military," said Learn. "I am somebody who will serve, when they call I will answer."
To the Learn family and Officer Learn, thank you for your service.