Two Men Who Served Decades Apart Linked by Badge Number

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OSCEOLA, Iowa -- Two men from two generations are linked by more than just uniform.

Retired Lt. Dan Foster and current Trooper Kirk Lundgren spent their careers with the Iowa State Patrol and both wore the badge number 83.

Together, they have nearly 70 years of service. At 92-years-old, Foster is the state’s longest-living member of the patrol, and Lundgren is the longest-serving member.

The Iowa State Patrol says it's unlikely they'll see something this again.

For law enforcement, one number becomes your identity.

“The number 83 was assigned to me when I came on back in 1983,” said Lundgren. “State patrol values its tradition. That’s what was so appealing.”

Thirty-four years later, he’s now part of the Patrol’s history.

The longest- serving trooper says he's just following in the footsteps of others.

“Law enforcement has some big shoes to fill compared to all the officers who served before us,” he said.

Meet another badge number 83, the man who passed it on to Lundgren.

“Pretty special. I wore that number for 34 years,” said Foster. 83

He joined the then Highway Patrol back in 1947.

His decades of service are documented in a scrapbook. From his days heading up the Air Patrol, to one night more than 60 years ago that has stuck with him to this day.

Foster came across three bandits who held up a grocery store in West Des Moines then fled to Atlantic.

“I thought it was either me or them. And I shot at him,” Foster said.

In the not-so-distant future, another trooper will become known as badge 83.

“Just serve the people and hope you love the career of being in law enforcement and with the State Patrol,” Lundgren said.

That was the case for two men who spent their careers wearing the same uniform and badge number.

“He earned it,” Foster said of Lundgren.

“I try to earn it every day for you,” Lundgren replied.

State Patrol badge numbers range from 24 to 528. The only time they're retired is in line-of-duty deaths.