Remembering Deputy Eric Oliver – A Hero in Nassau County
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
The human condition comes stocked and fully loaded with intense of ambition, or certain sense of obligation. Surveying the masses, you might not be surprised to learn some unlikely truths. Unless you are blessed with the opportunity and – more importantly – follow through, the chance of finding yourself budding a career in a vocation that started as a “calling” is anything but eminent. Perhaps your aspirations are nothing more than wasted imagination? Is there any honor in the grand pursuit? Maybe, the true value of ones’ legacy lays in those who know you best, and your attributes which they aspire to possess.
If a man or woman seeks to pursue a career in law enforcement, usually they come to this decision as an alternative to college, or just to make their mother worry! Other times, applicants are following in steps laid proudly before them. Steps that can never be filled, only followed. Moreover, avoiding student loans altogether and a retirement plan are very attractive bullet points to young professionals. Deputy Eric Oliver, Nassau County Sheriffs’ Department, had no shortage of brothers and sisters in his life, both at home and in the workplace. On November 22, 2016, while in pursuit of suspected wanted for questioning, Oliver’s courageous efforts to run down the suspect led him into the path of an SUV. The force of the vehicle was more than the Deputy could absorb, and survive.
Deputy Oliver was born in a town called Heidelberg, Germany. One of a whopping four children, his parents had all hands full and on-deck. Once Eric turned 2 years of age, The Oliver family came to a decision. To return to the United States of America was the only viable plan. Spending some amount of time in the North and on the East Coast, Eric would eventually find himself settled in the small coastal town of Fernandina Beach, FL. Once unpacked and ready for action, 2004 would hold new beginnings for the German-born American.
Ready to serve his country, Eric enlisted just as soon as he was able. As an Aviation Ordinance technician, he served for two tours in Iraq. His service to his country came with no expectancy of pay. He played a key role – as all whom participated did – in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, while working with and supporting all Humanitarian Aid efforts.
When it came down to Eric and his interests when he wasn’t dawning the Nassau Co. colors, he was a die hard, bring on the trash talk, avid Florida Gators fan. In search of the truest thrills, motorcycles and (as we call it in Jackson) muddin, were what kept his blood flowing on breaks from active duty with the department. As if he wasn’t well rounded enough, Eric also shared the passion of creating music. He was an avid guitarist. But the one true love that could bend his will and conquer all was the love of his daughter Shelby.
Eric, you will be most sorely missed, Nassau County can only pray that whomever joins the Sheriffs’ department in your stead will share the courage and diligence that you showed us all. In a feat a bravery you were lost, but in the communities eyes, you were decidedly found!