Members of the military have served our country with honor, valor and courage. These men and women have had to endure conditions most of us will never experience in our entire life. They’ve done things and seen things, and been through things we’ll never know or maybe never want to know. They’re heroes. Some have sacrificed their lives. Others have sacrificed their limbs. They have paid the price for our freedom.
Lance Corporal Ferreira is one of those men who have served our country, defended our freedom and paid the price. In 2011, Ferreira was a machine gunner with the 1st Battalion 2nd Marines out of Camp LeJeuene that was deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. As he and his team were setting up their equipment, he went to retrieve some other items, and jumped off the roof… only to land on a 30 pound bomb.
The blast shattered his legs, broke his pelvis and shattered femur, which meant that both limbs had to be amputated from the knees. He says that his CO and the team were there with him for support as he was airlifted to Germany. Recovery took about year at Walter Reed hospital outside of Washington.
But the story doesn’t end there. Lance Corporal Ferreira just fulfilled a lifelong dream…to become a police officer.
H/T USMC Life:
A Marine veteran in New York graduated from the Suffolk County Police Academy — becoming one of the nation’s first double amputees to serve as a full-time, active officer.
Former Lance Corporal Matias Ferreira, who stepped on an IED while deployed to Afghanistan, graduated after completing 29 weeks of training. ABC 7 NY reports he was also elected by his fellow graduates as the class president and was the class speaker during the ceremony.
“I’m just really eager and excited to prove myself to my colleagues in my new job, my new career, that I’m capable of doing the job just as well as somebody with both legs,” Matias Ferreira told Newsday. “I don’t think the prosthetics hinder me in any way.”
The 28-year-old married father of one completed the program that included sit-ups, push-ups, and a mile-and-a-half run — despite both legs below the knees amputated.
The Suffolk County Police Commissioner says Matias Ferreira was a stellar student on every level.
“This is someone who served our nation, paid a significant sacrifice, and is now able to overcome adversity in a tremendous way,” Commissioner Timothy Sini told Newsday. “He’s done a terrific job as a recruit in the academy, both physically, academically and in his leadership to the other recruits, and he’s going to make a fine officer.”
During Matias Ferreira’s training, officials said he practiced taking down aggressive suspects wearing a protective suit. He only fell once — and was able to hop right back up immediately.
“If you have somebody coming at you and attacking you, we didn’t know how that was going to end up, we didn’t know if he would fall and not be able to get back up, so for us it was an important moment,” said Lt. Steven Rohde, commanding officer of the academy’s recruit training section.
Matias Ferreira says being an amputee actually has its advantages.
“A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’ I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one,” he said. “If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.”
Following the amputations, Matias Ferreira underwent a year of rehabilitation while acclimating to his prosthetic legs, and it didn’t take him long to tap into his Marine ethos.
Ferreira made headlines in October 2015 when he jumped into action and saved a baby from a smoking car following a crash in Howard Beach.
Rohde told Newsday if Matias Ferreira’s performance at the academy is an indication of how he’ll perform on the streets, he’s happy to have him on the force.
As I said, Matias is fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a police officer, but what’s also of interest, there were more than 40 other members of Ferreira’s graduating class who are also military veterans.
This police force is certainly going to be a force to be reckoned with. And now that Obama is out of office, police officers are respected more.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump told the nation’s largest police union his administration will “always have your back.”
That’s got to make police officer Ferreira feel pretty good.
To Ferreira and all our service men and women – thank you for always having America’s back.
SemperFi, Officer Ferreira
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