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Sgt. Maj., Berlin officer Merle Bragg, Jr. honored

There’s always plenty on the agenda to be done at any particular Berlin Mayor and Council meeting.
Sometimes, though, it’s important to stop the discussion of public policy and recognize a citizen who is nothing short of a true hero.
That happened Monday night when Mayor William G. Williams III and the council recognized and honored U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Merle Bragg, Jr.
Bragg, who makes his home in Hebron with his wife, Lynn, was honored not only for his many years of national service, but also because the sergeant major is a senior officer of the Berlin Police Department. He’s been a Berlin police officer since 1996.
Berlin has kept his spot open knowing full well that literally at any moment he could get the call again for redeployment, be it stateside or even in Afghanistan.
Since he was first called to duty after the Sept. 11, 2001 acts of terror changed the nature of national security, the Berlin police officer has been home for only 13 months.
He has seen from a front line position what most of us will never see in our lifetimes. Indeed, in an interview with the Bayside Gazette his modesty came before any discussions of heroism.
Now, he’ll be driving a Berlin Police patrol car and, he admitted, getting used to new streets and developments.
He is back working for his former police academy classmate and now chief, Arnold Downing, making the streets and neighborhoods safer.
This is a man, Chief Downing said, who was selected from as high up as the president’s office for special deployment.