FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – He’s one of Fort Worth’s newest police officers and his road to becoming one wasn’t easy.

Zach Briseno, 35, is only the second known double amputee to become a police officer in the country.

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Zach Briseno – Fort Worth police officer (CBS 11)

Briseno, a U.S. Marine, lost his legs during an improvised explosive device attack while on active duty in Iraq in 2007.

He was in the front passenger seat of a Humvee when the explosion went off.

“I started feeling a burning sensation in the lower half of my body and I didn’t know the severity of it right away,” said Briseno. “I didn’t know the severity of it until I woke up in Germany was the first time I realized hey my legs are gone.”

Briseno said the road to recovery was a difficult one, but it was his goals and his dreams that fueled his motivation to figure out how to one day stand and walk again.

“My unit was still in Iraq and I wanted them to see me walking, so I made that a goal of mine. I told my doctors I don’t care what I have to do I will be walking by the time they come home,” he said.

When his fellow Marines did come home, he was there standing and walking and ready to greet them.

Back at home in Fort Worth, Briseno accomplished another goal which was to coach his son’s little league baseball team and run around like any other person.

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He did that.

Then, there was one last thing he wanted to do: become a Fort Worth Police Officer.

“My thing was I wanted to serve my country and I wanted to come home and serve my community,” he said.

Zach Briseno – Fort Worth police officer (CBS 11)

Briseno graduated from the police academy in late 2020.

Now, in his first year as police officer, he says his disability, while challenging, has taught him a few things about overcoming obstacles.

“I’m very proud of myself,” he said. “It was a childhood dream of mine, and if it helps somebody else you know you can get over it.”

Briseno is currently completing his field training program as a newly-minted Fort Worth police officer.

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