“A Bond That Can Never Be Broken” A Story About the Power of Friendship!!

May 22, 2019

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

We came across this story and loved it so much – we just had to share it.

It is a post from the Cheektowaga Police Department about the power of friendship!!!!! In case you missed it – here’s the story in its entirety.

Cheektowaga PD: “We have an amazing story of a friendship, which started with two brave men serving in the Marines overseas together. Unbeknownst to them, their paths would cross again when they walked into the Police Academy and realized they were both hired by the Cheektowaga Police Department! They continued their law enforcement careers as partners, and quickly are rising up the ranks side by side currently hold the rank of Sergeants. Together they have experienced triumphs and tragedy that has created a bond that will never be broken. It is an honor to share their amazing journey with you. Today we would like to honor Sergeant Shawn McAdams and Sergeant Justin Haag!

Shawn McAdams and Justin Haag served together in the United States Marines, deploying to Al Anbar Province, Iraq in 2005 with the 3rd Battalion 25th Marines. During the deployment, the two would both earn Combat Action Ribbons for performance during direct fire combat with opposition forces while serving with one of the hardest hit battalions in the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaigns. In total, the battalion would lose 46 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen. Shawn would then serve again in combat in 2010 this time in Afghanistan earning another combat action ribbon while serving as a Squad leader. Both men exited the Marine Corps as Sergeant’s in leadership positions within the Infantry unit.

In 2008 the two Marines would find themselves serving together again as they were hired by the Cheektowaga Police, graduating the academy together with Shawn as the Honor Graduate and Justin as the Platoon leader. After graduation, they were assigned to the same shift. The young officers asked to ride together and remained partners for 8 years earning numerous accolades for their work together. Both served on the SWAT Team, Crisis Intervention Team, Bicycle Patrol, Verbal De-escalation Instructors and both were assigned to the Tactical Training Unit.

In the fall of 2017, Shawn was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, this time with the Cheektowaga Police. Shawn was also elevated within the SWAT team, to the Entry Team Leader Position. Not 6 Months later, Justin would also be promoted claiming the vacant Sergeant’s desk next to his old partner, Shawn.

In 2015 while attending the funeral of a Comrade from their deployment who was finally being laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery Justin and Shawn spoke with the former Marine Corps Commandant, and current Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Joseph Dunford. When asked what they did now by the revered General, the pair explained that following their Marine Corps service they became Police Officers and had been partners for several years. The General looked pleased and expressed how much he liked to hear about Marines continuing to watch each other’s backs every day in the community.

Both men are quiet about their combat service and accolades but will not hesitate to mention that they are only here because of the sacrifice of so many other men with whom they served.

Thank you Shawn and Justin for not only serving your county, but you community! ????”


Wow, right!?  Thank you so much for your service – both to our amazing country and to the community of Cheektowaga and beyond!


(photos and post credit: Cheektowaga Police Facebook page)


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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