Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Senior Trooper Michael Joseph Rao

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Senior Trooper Michael Joseph Rao

Trooper RAO:

It has been five years. Thank You for serving my home-South Carolina. The SCHP was my childhod fantasy, and it always hurts when I hear about one of within its Family, suffering a loss. May You Rest-In-Peace.

Maj M. B. Parlor
USMC / LAPD

June 12, 2007

Sr. Tpr. Rao,


On this the anniversary of your leaving us in the physical sense we pay tribute to your spirit. Tonight the Evening Watch of the Henry County Georgia Police Department’s North Precinct will hit the street in your honor. Please watch over us as we continue your fine work.

For the entire shift,
Sergeant V.T. Rosen

Sergeant V.T. Rosen
Henry County Police Department

June 12, 2007

Mike,

I cannot believe it has been five years today that God called you home. I know you are in a better place and would not come back, but please know that Dad and I miss you more and more every day.

Your brothers and sisters who man the Thin Blue Line have been wonderful and we appreciate so much being a part of the law enforcement family.

Prepare a room for us; we will be along in just a blink of your eye!

We love you.
Mom

Mom
Surviving Mother

June 12, 2007

Still remembered after 5yrs. You are on the minds and in the hearts of many.

June 12, 2007

A man remembered with love and respect never dies but continues to live on in the hearts and minds of others.

June 12, 2007

"No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave."
--Calvin Coolidge

Debbie Brewer
citizen and COPS member

May 25, 2007

Mike,
It is amazing in life how paths cross each other and then eventually end up crossing once again. I never had the opportunity to meet you, but you and my late husband Jon worked together briefly on the Ace Team. I remember the time after your death, and how strange everything seemed. It hurt my heart to know that Megan was going to have to grow up without her Daddy, Jan without her sweetheart, and your parents without the son they were so proud of. Your funeral was the first law enforcement funeral I ever attended, and I hoped that it would be the last. After your passing Jon told me that I would have liked you because you had this goofball sense of humor. Now that I know your Dad, I can imagine that your sense of humor came from him.

Now I sit in a place that I never imagined I would. I, too, have now joined the ranks of many others as being a police survivor. I have had the opportunity the last few weeks to spend time with both your Mom and Dad. I can see that they still feel the pain of you being gone, but are both dedicated to helping other police survivors see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I told your Dad yesterday that I never thought in a million years we would have reason to be working together. I am amazed once again at how unpredictable life is.

You and Jon save us all a place in heaven. I like to think that the two of you are sitting together laughing at shared memories and wondering when you will see us again. God knows how often we wonder and dream of the time we will see you both again.

Thank you, Mike, for your service and the great sacrifice you made that day. You will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved you, and even those you never met.

Susan Parker
Surviving Spouse of Trooper J.W. Parker

April 5, 2007

Mike was one of my best friends. I knew him through his work in Lancaster County, and I was so proud when he realized his dream of becoming a State Trooper. I remember attending his graduation ceremony in Columbia, and seeing the excitement in his eyes. I knew then that he would no longer have as much time for all the fun we all had going to the river, or sneaking Rusty's truck out to go "muddin'." (Sorry, Rusty) I moved away before the tragedy that took Mike from us, and only found out later that he was gone. But I know in my heart that this wonderful man died doing what he was meant to do, and what he loved to do, helping others. To Jan, Megan, Lois, Sal, Chris and the rest of the hundreds who will always love Mike, we must be thankful that we were blessed to have Mike share his short life with us. He was truly a wonderful person to know.

Julia Babbitt
Friend

March 21, 2007

I was working the day the Lord took you away. When I think about sometimes, I think that I was one of the last people to hear your voice on the radio. You were calling in different traffic information and I was relaying it back to you while I was working in the dispatch office. I remember the silence in radio that day. Just before I knew what was happening a caller called in and said that one of you Troopers just got hit. I started calling all my Troopers and about the thrid or fourth Trooper I called, the road Sargeant at the time Tim Herbert asked what was wrong, and I told him what the caller stated. Trooper J. Weeks was one of the first to arrive and stated it was Trooper Rao but he called your number. It was so amazing to see how the SCHP can come together in situations like this one when losing one of their own. I know that Mike is still watching over the other Troopers out there.

Sgt M Perry
SCDC/PPPS

February 12, 2007

My thoughts are with your loved ones as I also walk in their shoes. Each day is a real challenge and all any of us can do is take one day at a time. I have decorated the exterior of my home for Christmas with all Blue Lights. One of those lights will be lit in your honor every night until New Years as you are a true hero. Keep watch over your loved ones, wrap your wings around them and help them with their grief. Also, keep watch over those still out on patrol watching over the Thin Blue Line.

Bob Gordon
Father of Fallen Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

December 8, 2006

It's really hard looking at the picture of you and rememebring all the days that we were kids playing together. I know that you are in a better palce, but it did not have to happen so soon. I thank god for having known you Mike and will always hold a place in my heart for you.

Ken Sumner

Sgt Ken Sumner
Darlington police department

October 25, 2006

Four years have passed since God took you home. Your passing has left us with such huge holes in our hearts. I never wake without thinking of you, or say a prayer for you every day. The anniversary of your accident on June 10, your death on June 12, and then your funeral on Father's Day, June 16, is often more than I can bear.

We are blessed to have your daughter, Megan, in our lives. You would so enjoy her. She is a delight and has the Rao smile! Megan not only looks just like you but she also has your wonderful sense of humor.

Your friends in law enforcement have been wonderful and supportive. Your Lancaster buddies have organized the Annual RAO Ride to "Remember All Officers." These officers work tirelessly in this cause. You would be very proud. They work so hard to make it a success every year!

I just wanted you to know that we miss you very much, and look forward to being together. Keep a watch for us, Mike. We will see you before you know it!

Love,
Mom

Lois Rao
Surviving Mother

June 29, 2006

Rest in peace my brother. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

June 12, 2006

Today is Dec. 22,2005.This is such a hard time for eveyone.We think of you every day and never stop missing you.We all love you very much.Forever in our prayers. LOVE DAD.

SAL RAO
DAD

December 22, 2005

In memory of trooper Michael Rao: Another year goes by and the fatality
total just keeps climbing. Each death
diminishes each one of us. Another S.C.
trooper has just died, Jonathan Parker
from Sumter, and I know with each death it just reopens the wounds. May God bless you all with His peace and carry each of you through your times of sorrow and heartbreak. I especially think of your wife and little girl. I know they miss you terribly.
M. Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA

May 21, 2005

Mike,
I was one of your dispatchers. I was supposed to be working the morning of your accident. Something told me to make other arrangements. I couldn't have taken hearing this in that office. I miss you so much. Since you have been gone, I have gotten married, and I named my little boy after you. He brings me such joy, just as you did. I remember the way you used to joke and pick all the time, would never let me get down and out. I know I will see you again one day.

Big Red

May 2, 2005

Mike,

We miss you more today than yesterday, and more than the day before. We are so proud of what you did accomplish in your young life, and know that we will all be together some day!

Mom

January 3, 2005

Mike-we often visit this website and its obvious that your memory still lives on. We often see your family around the lake and how wonderful they are. Your little girl is such a precious angel. Your rememberance comes everyday for us as we travel the bridge at Beaver Creek, Lake Wateree that is in memory of you. Your wife and little girl must be so honored. Take care of our brothers out there Mike who are still risking their lives everyday.

The Gaineys
James & Jana

L/Cpl. J.E.Gainey-Ret.
SCHP

October 7, 2004

I'M I IRAQ DURING OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. I WAS A MEMBER OF THE LANCASTER COUNTY SHER. OFF. WHEN MIKE WAS EMPLOYED THERE. I MISS MIKE EVERYDAY AND MY PRAYERS ARE WITH HIS FAMILY. HIS MEMORY WILL LIVE FOREVER.

SFC TIMOTHY C CATOE
US ARMY

July 21, 2004

We want to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day. Our sons were both taken away from us on the same day two years ago. We continue to grieve and also heal as time passes. We know the pain and loss you have experienced.
May God Bless!

Ron and Annette Bennett
Parents of Deputy Shane Bennett
Harris County Sheriff's Dept.
EOW 6-12-2002

June 13, 2004

I stop by this website often after the death of two dear friends with the NCSHP (Troopers Calvin Taylor E.O.W. October 3, 2001 and Anthony Cogdill E.O.W. May 30, 2003).

We all grieve over the lives lost in the line of duty. I hope you can find some comfort knowing that there are countless prayers that go out for your family.

These are senseless tragedies that never seem to stop. God Bless the men and women who continue to serve their communities in our great Nation.

Marti (EMT-Paramedic)
Haywood Co EMS (NC)

April 4, 2004

06-12-03, MY BROTHER, IT HAS BEEN ONE YEAR SINCE GOD HAS CALLED YOU HOME. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOUR LOVE ONES AND THOSE YOU WERE SO DEAR TO. I AM PROUD TO KNOW THAT A TROOPER SO WELL THOUGHT OF, SERVED IN MY HOME STATE. ALTHOUGH YOU ARE GONE, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. REST IN PEACE MY BROTHER.

CHIEF RONNIE WATFORD-RETIRED
JEFFERSON POLICE DEPT,S.C.

Thank you Kris for leaving a message on my fiance's page. It means a lot to know I am not alone in my pain. It saddens me to know that Dennis and Michael were not the first law enforcement officers to die in the line of duty, nor will they be the last. My heart goes out to Michael Rao's family, friends and coworkers.

Please accept my condolences on behalf of the McElderry family and remember that Michael is part of huge law enforcement family. If you ever need anything any number of them will be there for you (as I've quickly found out!) From reading the many reflections posted here, I am certain Michael was well respected and well loved. Thank you for a job well done and for helping to make this world a safer place for us all. Please take care of my fiance Dennis.

Peace, Love, Luck, and Happiness!

Jocelyne Brar
Dennis McElderry's fiancee - EOW (01/03/03)

TROOPER RAO, I WAS IN BASIC LAW CLASS 430 WHEN THIS TERRIBLE ACCIDENT HAPPENED.I KNOW YOUR FAMILY ALONG WITH ALL YOUR FELLOW OFFICERS IS SO PROUD OF ALL YOU DID FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT.YOU MAKE ME STAND PROUD EACH DAY AS I AM ABLE TO HELP SOMEONE IN NEED. MY PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS WILL BE WITH YOUR FAMILY AND ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT AS I GO ON WITH MY DUTIES AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. GOD BLESS ALL MEMBERS OF THE THIN BLUE LINE AND THERE FAMILYS.DEP.L.O.JAMES DARLINGTON COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPT.

DEP.L.O.JAMES
DARLINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF

Rest in peace brother. You'll be missed.

Senior Officer D.G. Brunson
SC Dept. of Public Safety/Bureau of Protective Services

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