Double Amputee Injured in Iraq Becomes Fort Worth Police Officer
Fort Worth, TX – On Friday, the Fort Worth Police Department swore in 24 new police officers, which is a big enough deal on its own during this climate.
Among those sworn in was a former Marine, 35-year-old Zach Briseno. Briseno had always dreamed of becoming a police officer when he grew up, and that dream could have easily been crushed when he was serving overseas in the Falluja Province of Iraq and was hit by a roadside bomb in 2007.
Both of Briseno’s legs were amputated as a result of the bomb and awarded the purple heart by President Bush.
We could not be more proud of Officer Briseno for his dedication and sacrifice. Congratulations, brother! Welcome to the finest police department in the nation. #BackTheBlue#ThinBlueLine https://t.co/OsFI58bvBt
— Manny Ramirez (@MannyRamirez_TX) December 12, 2020
Briseno said after the bombing, he just remembers telling the people around him to tell his son he loves him. After graduating, Briseno said, “You can do anything you want to do, you just really have to put the work in for it.”
He didn’t think he would be able to be an officer anymore, but after he got his prosthetic legs and started participating in more and more activities, to include baseball, he decided to continue in pursuit of becoming an officer.
Briseno wasn’t given any special treatment or circumstances; he had to complete the same physical testing that all other candidates had to go through, to include running.
He told the local NBC affiliate, “That part of people saying it’s a disability, that’s all in your mind. You’re psyching yourself out at that point if you say, ‘I have this problem.’ No. How bad do you want it? How hard do you want to work for it?”
He also said, “Don’t give up. Leave the past in the past and keep moving forward. Our time tomorrow isn’t always promised. You’ve got to make the best today.”
During the academy, Briseno also got sick and was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was hospitalized for 10 days, then was right back at it, finishing the academy.
Briseno, married with four children, received two awards at the academy graduation. The first was from his instructors, given to the most dedicated and determined recruit. The second was from his class members for the “most respected” recruit.
Briseno’s 15-year-old son, just two years old when his dad lost his legs, pinned his police badge on him during the ceremony. One of his former Marine buddies also flew in to witness the event. He is now one of two double amputee police officers in the US.