Harold (Hal) Charles Metzger was welcomed into Heaven in the early morning of January 31, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Charles Metzger Sr. and Olga Bazant Metzger. In 1944, Hal was brought by his parents from Chicago, Illinois to Albuquerque where he lived most of his life. He attended Highland High School and played varsity football.
At a very young age, Hal joined the Reserve of the Air Force and Air National Guard of New Mexico and was later honorably discharged. He then joined the Air Force where he was a dog handler and security policeman after training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He was honorably discharged in 1962. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and was part of the Underwater Demolition Team. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps as well. In 1966, Hal enlisted in the U.S. Army and immediately reenlisted in 1970. He was awarded the military occupation specialty of a Military Police Correctional Specialist after having attended basic and advanced training at the Army Military Police School at Fort Gordon, GA. He was a squad leader, platoon sergeant, military police desk sergeant, patrol supervisor, and also performed military police duties.
On his first tour, he was transferred to Vietnam. He was assigned to a Division Military Police Company and became a Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge of two prisoner of war compounds both in forward and rear areas of the 1st Cavalry Division (AM). (..."and fate whispered to the Warrior, 'The Storm will defeat you.' and the Warrior whispered back, 'I am the Storm.') He was in combat in several operations including the Battle of Ia Drang Valley. Later he also participated in the evacuation in Saigon. Hal loved the Army and was very proud to have served in the 1st Cav Division. He received the Bronze Star Medal and several other awards.
Later, Hal applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as an investigator. He was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia where he was attached to the Provost Marshall as Special Investigator specializing in internal affairs investigations, VIP Security. After training at the U.S. Army Signal School, he also was placed in charge of the CID photography Lab. He was later assigned to the U.S. Army Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he was Correctional Officer Specialist Supervisor. He reenlisted again in 1973 and was later honorably discharged. Hal served his country honorably and with unfailing devotion and loyalty for more than 17 years.
After his military service, Hal worked in law enforcement in Kansas as a patrolman, detective, and chief investigator. He was also a deputy sheriff in Valencia County, NM and a reserve deputy sheriff for the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department for four years. Hal was duly appointed Deputy Sheriff for the Sheriff's Department, Santa Fe County, State of New Mexico.
In 1981, Hal was commissioned by the New Mexico Mounted Patrol as Trooper (SGT). For six and a half years, Hal greatly enjoyed his work and colleagues in the Mounted Patrol force.
Hal worked at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe as Correctional Officer II (LT) for several years, commencing in January 1980 just before the riot in February. Later, he was instrumental and assisted in implementing new policies and procedures for security purposes. For over forty years, Hal worked in law enforcement for the betterment of his country.
At one time, Hal was a certified flight instructor and licensed pilot and owned a business doing aerial photography from his own Cessna for various corporations. He was passionate about motorcycles throughout his whole life and had been a member of the Christian Motorcyclist Club. He attended various meets and thoroughly enjoyed riding. He loved fishing, boating, traveling around the U.S., music, and photography. He was also an avid artist whose paintings were quite wonderful. He loved animals of all kinds, from birds to ferrets to dogs, and left behind his own two little dogs, Sammy and Mikey, who miss him greatly.
From a very young age, Hal was interested in communications. He was licensed in amateur radio for over thirty years until he became a 'silent key' on January 31. He was a VE examiner in Albuquerque, a member of ARRL, RACES, ARES, and MARS in Nevada, and participated in search and rescue.
Hal was a member of the American Legion. In 1994, he took a blind date to Post 49 in Albuquerque for dinner. A few weeks later, on the dance floor there, he asked Nancy to marry him which she did a month later - that was over twenty-four amazing years ago.
Hal had a great sense of humor and was a very hard and industrious worker providing well for his family. He was a wonderful, devoted and loyal husband who loved his wife unconditionally and was loved unconditionally in return. This was a man who was 'tough as nails with a heart of gold.' His passing was most certainly Heaven's gain and our loss. His death has left a deep void in the hearts of his wife, family and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at FRENCH – Lomas. Interment with military honors will follow at 2:15 p.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery. Upon the family’s return to Albuquerque, a reception will be held at American Legion Post 49, 11005 Central Ave., Albuquerque, NM 87123.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hal's memory to the American Legion (www.legion.org), the Patriot Guard Riders (www.patriotguard.org), or Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, PO Box 567, Kanab, UT 84741-0567 (www.bestfriends.org).