(Hershey) – The Pennsylvania State Police on Monday recognized four Soldiers who lost their lives on duty in the past three years.
An emotional outdoor memorial service attended by several hundred Soldiers, cadets and members of the public was the first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The families of Soldiers Donald Brackett, Dung (pronounced Young) Martinez, Martin Mack, and Branden Sisca.
Brackett died following a medical emergency in May 2019. Martinez died in October 2021 as a result of complications from COVID-19. Mack and Sisca died earlier this year after being hit by a drunk driver during an incident on the freeway.
All four were honored with a eulogy, gunfire, bagpipes and drums.
“Families here today have had to cope with the loss of loved ones and nothing can ease that pain,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick. “But rest assured that the legacy of the lost will forever be borne by the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police and their victims will never be forgotten.”
The four are listed along with 98 others who have died in the line of duty since the state police agency was founded in 1905.
“Police work is inherently dangerous, whether you’re working on the side of the road or responding to someone armed with a firearm,” Lt. Adam Reed, PSP’s Director of Communications. “As a law enforcement officer, you always have in mind that this danger is real and out there.”
“Every time a single name is added to the wall, it’s dark and tragic, but the crowd here today is speaking of the tribute and the ultimate sacrifice these members made,” he added.
Gov. Tom Wolf, who was unable to attend Monday’s service, said the memory of the four soldiers was a reminder of the dangers law enforcement faces every day.
“Frances and I offer our condolences to these Soldiers and their families, as well as to the extended family of the State Police and everyone affected by their loss,” Wolf said.
The names of all 102 Soldiers who died in the line of duty are written on a memorial wall at the State Police Academy in Hershey. The agency also maintains online memorial plaques for each of these soldiers.