I was informed by a friend a few weeks ago that Jon Lopey was having a hard time with getting a permit for a firearm, I had to laugh. This man is one of the highest caliber men I have ever known. Colonel Lopey is what I call him. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam era. Then served thirty three years as a California Highway Patrolman as Captain and Assistant Chief. In his spare time he attended college and served in the Army Reserves as an Officer. Colonel Lopey was deployed several times during the duration of the War. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and one with Valor. After all of this, Colonel Lopey was recently denied a permit to purchase a firearm from the very government he has served faithfully during his career.
I read an article awhile back where some pin-head from the Huffington Post was running him down. It seems this patriot lawman has been spotted and flagged by the very Federal government he has sworn to protect.
When Colonel Lopey applied for a permit to own a M1 Garand he was denied with no explanation. He filed an appeal and is waiting for a response. He also holds a Top Secret Clearance and has attended the F.B.I. National Academy. With accomplishments such as these, in the military and law enforcement, it seems he has crossed the federal government one too many times. It sure seems pretty blatant and evident what is going on to me. Just imagine what they are doing to the regular Joes out there! Keep up the Good fight Colonel Lopey!
The first time I met Colonel Lopey
After I was wounded in Iraq I spent eighteen months in a medical hold company going through surgeries and therapy. During one of my surgeries I came home for thirty days of convalescent leave to heal up. One day my daughter comes into my room and says, “Dad the Cops are outside taking your pick-up!” So, I got up and went outside to ask them why they were taking my truck and why they didn't come to my door first? About that time, I heard the pawl gear in the transmission break as they yarded the truck up onto a flatbed. There was several law enforcement agencies present; County Sheriff's Deputies, California Highway Patrolmen and California Department of Fish & Game Warden. They said it was too close to the county road. I said "I was born and raised here, people have been parking here for forty years!" It didn't make any sense.
I followed the tow truck to town where I had to pay the tow fees, get a battery and a permit to drive the truck home. It was my younger brother's truck, and he'd died while I was deployed, so I hadn't had time to register it yet. I busted the staples out of my arm while working on the truck. I did manage to get the truck home and went back for another surgery. I felt betrayed and insulted and lost a lot of respect for the law that day! I wrote the county Sheriff, the Yreka California Highway Patrol and the local newspaper about what had happened to me. I didn't get a response from anyone.
A couple of weeks later I get a phone call from a Commander Jon Lopey. The new commander of the Yreka CHP office. He said he had just been assigned to the new post and had seen my letter on the desk. He asked if there was anyway he could help with anything at all. Commander Lopey did everything he possibly could to make things right. I was impressed and grateful.
A few months later I was discharged and sent home. The General of the California National Guard phoned and said the Pentagon was getting caught up on Purple Heart recipients. He said mine was grated and sent out to General Wade. He told me that I would be sent a plane ticket to come down to San Diego and receive the Medal in a proper military ceremony. I asked if he could just drop it in the mail and I would have a local military Commander present me the award. He didn't care for the idea, but agreed nonetheless.
The mail came in just before Veterans Day and I asked Colonel Lopey if he would present the Purple Heart to me where my friends and family would be able to attend. He said it would be an honor. That Veterans Day my friends, my family, brothers in arms, Veterans and the community all gathered at The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, Hot LZ Memorial, near Weed, California. Colonel Jon Lopey and First Sergeant Jerry Shoemaker awarded me the Purple Heart.
A few weeks later he phoned and asked if I would care to visit Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with him. I went to Redding, California where Colonel Lopey and I boarded the Governor's bus and talked for an hour. I was coined by the Terminator. (beat that one supply sergeant!) Then I was coined by Colonel Lopey! I was one of those guys who never seemed to get coined. So that was awesome, and I will never forget the day Colonel Lopey and I spent with the Governor.
I was and still remain amazed by the accomplishments, the stand and the integrity of Colonel Jon Lopey. He means what he says and says what he means. I was proud to help when he decided to run for Siskiyou County Sheriff. He stands for our constitution and is an avid supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He has been active and vocal with regards to his stand on these matters.
Editor's Note: An interview with Col. Lopey regarding the fumbled firearms purchase.