Ryan's Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2006

This following letter has been sent to Mitch Daneils, Evan Bayh, Dick Lugar, WTHR, WXIN, and WISH-TV.

"My name is Ryan Mercer,

I am the son of a State Trooper who dedicated his life to being a trooper. My father passed from cancer, just six weeks short of retirement. He left behind a wife and son. My reason for this letter is to ask, why does Lt. Gary Dudley, who also died off-duty as my father did... get such a big deal made about his passing. Yes, he may have died during a charity event, however he died off-duty. My father was working nearly up until the day cancer hospitalized him, entering the hospital with fluid in both lungs and shortly thereafter passing.

Was Lt. Gary Dudley a better man than my father? It seems so to my eyes from what I see via my television and the newspaper. Lt. Gary Dudley gets full honors for his burial, my father was denied full honors because he died off-duty. For the past week I've been sickened by the news every morning and night, all I see and hear is Lt. Gary Dudley. I never heard Detective Mark Mercer so many years ago, but Lt. Gary Dudley is fast becoming a common name in the houses in Indiana. We've heard all about Lt. Gary Dudley, but no one has ever heard about Detective Mark Mercer, no one has heard about how Detective Mark Mercer died and left a family behind, a widow and a son who have struggled since his death due to an unjustly, and what at times seems to be meager, pro-rated pension because he passed just 6 weeks before he was eligible for a full retirement.

Did the flags fly at half-staff on March 11th 1998 for Detective Mark Mercer's death... no they did not. Did the flags fly at half-staff on March 14th the day of his burial... no they did not. Did the flag fly at half-mast via the orders of Mitch Daniels for Lt. Gary Dudley on Tuesday August 29th 2006 they did. Both of these heroes, who dedicated their lives to the Indiana State Police were equal men... why does one get full honors while the other, my father, couldn't even die leaving his family a full pension?

As a man who lost his father as a boy I ask you these questions. As a man who's father's memory has recently been disgraced by the recent events I write this letter. Can you answer these questions for me?"


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