About Bob Welsh
About Bob Welsh
Bob was born and raised in Carey, Ohio. Bob's mother Regina, a brilliant and devoted homemaker and writer, read nightly to Bob and his siblings the likes of Robert Service, Rudyard Kipling, James Whitcomb Riley and Edgar Guest. She rarely tucked them into bed without a prayer and a poem or story. His keen ability to memorize poems, and his love of storytelling was born from this upbringing.
Bob joined the US Navy (1962-1965) and sailed the North Atlantic. He worked two years as a Top-Secret Communicator in the US Pentagon.
In November of 1965 Bob joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a member of the 69th Academy class. After graduation Bob was assigned to the Greenville, Ohio patrol post, located in the far western part of Ohio, on the Indiana state line.
The first fatal car crash Bob handled by himself was at 1:00 am on a summer morning in1966. Bob was a young 21-year-old Patrolman (The title "Trooper" wasn't used until several years later) and he was the only patrolman out on that midnight shift covering two counties. A man and his male passenger, who were both under the influence of alcohol, had been traveling southbound on a county road in Preble County, and ran a stop sign at US40. They struck a car that was traveling eastbound on US40 spinning it around, at which time the right front passenger, an 18 or 19-year-old male, was ejected. The eastbound car flipped over and landed upside-down in a ditch, wedging all four doors shut and trapping the remaining five passengers. The car then immediately burst into flames. All five occupants of the car were burned beyond recognition. Only the passenger who was ejected survived. The two men in the southbound car were killed upon impact, and their car ended up out in a cornfield. There were no ambulances at that time. The words E-Squad, Paramedic, CPR or 911 had not been invented as of yet. This was Bob's baptism of fire into the ranks of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
After working the road for six years, Bob was assigned to the Patrol Academy as an instructor. He taught a number of classes, but specialized in self-defense and firearms training. In a world where shooting at a stationary target down-range was the training norm, he pioneered a training system whereby officers could for the first time, shoot modified weapons at live targets, to best simulate the realistic combat scenarios the police officers would be encountering. His simple concept of training to ‘keep fighting’ and to assume the ‘mental upper-hand’ even after the cadets had been fired upon in these mock, but realistic scenarios, radically changed police training forever. Those training methods have been responsible for saving countless police lives to this day.
In 1992 Bob was vested with the responsibility of selecting, equipping and training a group of troopers as a Special Response Team. Bob was able to obtain government assistance in training this team and brought members of SEAL Team 5 from San Diego, CA to teach Close Quarters Battle, room entries and hostage rescue. He also brought in the 10th Special Forces Sniper Group to Ohio from MA, to train the selected Trooper snipers. This team was used to help bring a solution to the 1993 Southern Ohio Correctional Facility prison riot- more commonly known as ‘The Lucasville Riot’. Today the SRT is a full-time position for its members.
Bob taught at the Patrol academy for a total of 13 years. He retired as a Captain in 1995. He lost his beloved wife, Meri, to cancer in 2002. He poured himself into his poetry and inspirational speaking, and has spent the past several years traveling and uplifting countless people from all over the world with his gifted and exceptional storytelling talent.
Many people ask, "Are Bob’s stories real?" Or "Did that actually happen?"
Most of Bob’s poems recount events exactly as they happened. Stories such as; 'And Now We’ll All Go Home', ‘Rest Well You Men of Indy’s Crew’, ‘Prayers and Stairs’, ‘The Legend of Hugh Glass’, ‘When the Organ Broke’, ‘The Navajo Code’, ‘A Brother’s Love’, ‘ Colter’s Run’, 'A Couple Things to Do’, and others, are based on true life events, as they have been recorded.
Some of Bob's poems are based on true events, but with the places or names changed for privacy, or based on two or three true events, compiled into one succinct poem such as ‘My Christmas Eve’ or ‘Thanks’.
Other poems were written by Bob to express a strong emotion, to uplift with humor, or to convey important values. Some rare poems, like ‘Gizmo’, may remain a mystery known to be true or not only by his closest hunting buddies…