Respect for Authority- a Humphrey Family Cornerstone

  • Published
  • By Capt. Katelin Robinson
  • Space Base Delta 3

It was a bright and sunny California day as cars passed through the Fort MacArthur main entry control point on May 9, 2024. Greeting everyone as if they were family was Officer Lorenzo Jacques Humphrey, a 22-year veteran to the DAF Police Force. To him, they are family.  

Humphrey graduated Marine Corps boot camp on May 8, 1987, and married the love of his life, Ida Humphrey just 8-days later.

But his story of following rules and respecting authority doesn’t start there.

He grew up in Decatur, Alabama, in “the deep south,” where respect for authority was not just something people said but a culture they shared. One summer, when visiting his grandparents as a young teen he recalled walking by a neighbor’s house on the way to his.

“The man stood on his porch and hollered to me; I made eye contact but didn’t acknowledge him.” Walking a little further down the road he saw his grandpa standing out on the porch waiting, “So you’re just going to ignore someone who’s talking to you? We don’t ignore authority around here son.”

It turned out the man he disregarded was his grandpa’s best friend, who had already made a call before Humphrey could reach the porch to his grandparents’ home. He spent that summer collecting eggs from the coop, mowing the man’s lawn, and tending to whatever odd jobs he had for him for the day, as penance.

As Humphrey continued through his teens, he was busted for tagging public property. Instead of punishing him, his mother encouraged him to channel his creative energy into a force for good, like pursuing graphic design. She taught him compassion and encouraged higher education.

When describing his mom, Humphrey shared, “She never finished high school but became an Executive Director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.” She valued excelling in school and learning despite her own misgivings and taught him to be successful, you must learn someone’s language and cultural customs. “Being able to formally introduce yourself to someone from a different culture, in their language and using their customs is powerful. I have friends everywhere in the world just from this one simple act.”

After serving a 12-year military career in both the Marine Corps and U.S. Army, Humphrey served as a civilian logistician and facility manager for DoD’s schools in Germany. His children Jacques, Jeremy and Ariel are his pride and joy along with his 11 grandchildren.  His wife Ida the sparkle in his eye, met at a city finals track meet when they competed for different high schools. When asked to describe what his family means to him, he hustled over to his truck and pulled two pictures of his family out of his sun visor, “they are everything.”

Ida shares his sentiment describing how her husband inspires her, "Lorenzo has been an amazing husband. He puts his family and faith first. We are coming up on our 36th wedding anniversary this week, I couldn't imagine life any other way. He's a humble and honest man who loves taking care of people.”

His daughter Ariel shared her favorite trait of her father, "I admire his integrity. He has always emphasized integrity in everything we do. He not only preaches integrity, but he lives by a code of ethics that exudes integrity, honesty, and dedication to our lives and those we encounter."

Uniquely Ida, Jacques and Ariel also work in the 61st Force Support Squadron at LA AFB. Ida serves as the School Liaison Program Manager; Jacques is a Computer Information Specialist and Ariel is the Commercial Advertising and Sponsorship Coordinator for the installation. His son Jeremy took a different path, graduating from Harvard and starting his family in Texas.

When talking about the successes of his family, Humphrey says, “It all boils down to respect for authority.” He continued, “If you can respect authority and show yourself friendly, you can get to where you want to be.”

His son Jacques considers his dad to be his hero and shares his favorite quote, "It is all about your values, principles, and standards." He continued, "He has always been my motivation to be better as a father, man, and leader. The greatest lesson he ever taught me was to always treat others the way you want to be treated. I've lived by that principal, and it has served me well through out my life. I can't think of an accomplishment that I have ever had that didn’t start with that lesson." 

His purpose in life is to be a mentor and a positive influence for others, “It takes a village to raise a child, I may not be someone’s father but I’m here to be a father figure to anyone who needs it.”

With retirement on the horizon, he enjoys spending time with his family, going to their home church, watching track meets with his wife and camping.

The mantra he lives by, “Never go against the family values and principles according to the word of God.”