The thin blue line on the official law enforcement flag stands for the sacrifice police officers make daily. Residents of Kiowa County say Brandon Hosheit, 44, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper who died of an apparent heart attack Monday in Greensburg, was the perfect example of that dedication to others.

All through the streets of Greensburg, residents and business owners have hung black and white American flags to honor Hosheit, who was well-known for helping rebuild the town 12 years ago after the E5 tornado of May 4, 2007 wreaked havoc on the area.

“I am just shocked by the loss” said former Greensburg Mayor John Janssen, who served with Hosheit on the city council and as mayor through the tornado of 2007. “It’s a good thing he was on the council at the time. He brought a younger perspective to the future needs of this community. He did an excellent job; he was a big plus for this community, very instrumental in rebuilding it.”

Hosheit spent his life in service to his community in one form or another. After graduating from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in 1995, he served as a Kansas Highway Patrolman in Haviland, Coldwater, and Greensburg during his career which lasted for over two decades.

Former law officer John Bertram worked with Hosheit while he was a deputy and on the patrol in southwestern Kansas.

“There is just nothing but good to say about him,” Bertram said.

Ray Stegman, Kiowa County sheriff while Hosheit was a deputy, said he was a friend for more than 30 years.

“He was top notch,” Stegman said. “They just don’t get any better than him.”

A Facebook post made Tuesday by Hosheit's sister April Hosheit Baugh said he collapsed by the treadmill at his home after a medical emergency.

A call to 911 was made by Hosheit's wife, Stacey, who found him there when she returned to the home after work.

“I am so thankful for the quick response of everyone who was here to help, the community has just overwhelmed us with love and concern,” Stacey Hosheit said. “We knew he was special and how much we loved him but, we never realized how much he was loved by the community.

The couple met while they were Kiowa County high school students. Stacey attended Haviland and Brandon was in Greensburg, but they had friends who knew each other and introduced them. They were married in October 1992.

“I will always remember how much Brandon loved God, his family and his friends," Stacey said. "Brandon came across to a lot for people as being tough and scary, but he had such a tender heart. But if you messed up he was going to tell you about it to make sure you learned from it and didn’t do it again.”

Special services are planned to honor Brandon and his life at 2 p.m. Saturday, the 12th anniversary of the tornado that hit Greensburg. Hosheit played a major role in rebuilding the community and helping those in need.