Undersheriff Dave Rau entered the search and rescue headquarters Thursday afternoon thinking he was there for a staff meeting. Instead, he was greeted by Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and his family.
“This is a very important moment,” Daines said as he thanked Rau and his loved ones for their sacrifices.
Daines wanted a chance to thank Rau for his 20 years with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Rau is retiring from the force at the end of the month.
Daines said he is honored to be able to place a letter he penned regarding Rau’s service in the congressional record. Rau is a prime example of those who protect and service, he said. Daines wrote about Rau’s law enforcement background starting as a prison guard in Texas and his rise in the ranks at the Sheriff’s Office. He thanked the undersheriff on behalf of the Senate.
“It’ll be forever preserved,” he told the crowd gathered.
Rau beamed at the acknowledgement.
“This is such an honor,” he said.
The undersheriff then spoke directly to the members of the honor guard and command staff who stood before him.
“You guys know I love you,” he said. Rau added he appreciates his family for “putting up” with him.
“I so much appreciate you taking the time to do this,” he said. “I was not expecting this.”
Fox said Rau, 52, is an inspiration.
“He’s given so much dedicated service,” he said.
“He’s young enough I’m sure there’s more things for him to do in the future,” Fox added.
Daines said one of the greatest honors he gets in his role as senator is to honor those in uniform.
“It’s all about Dave Rau,” he added.