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Double Amputee Injured in Iraq Becomes Fort Worth Police Officer
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Double Amputee Injured in Iraq Becomes Fort Worth Police Officer

by Leah AnayaDecember 12, 2020

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.

 

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.

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at www.leahanaya.com.
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