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Zach Briseno Fort Worth Police Officer

Zach Briseno

Fort Worth Police Officer, Double Amputee

Fort Worth Police Officer Zach Briseno is one of only three police officers in the United States who is a double amputee. His goal to walk again was motivated by his kids and his determination to show them any thing is possible if you have the desire and determination to work to that goal.

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roxo media house
welcome back to fortitude everybody season two is now in Full full effect uh
I am JW Wilson my co-host Brenton Payne across the desk uh welcome Britain good
to see your face today looking good over there uh we have a couple things to discuss uh our show by the way is
brought to you by cap techs Bank our lovely friends at cap techs who we feel very strongly about because they’re
sponsors and they also are some really good dudes and only one of two local really local banks here absolutely so we
all talk about buying local might as well Bank local and Mike Thomas you know you we know you’re out there listening
we love you buddy thanks for watching Fort Worth Zach brisinho he is a 35 year
old Fort Worth Police Officer Zach is the second known double amputee in the
United States to become a police officer he gets super Applause for that that’s the outstandings I appreciate it welcome
to the show Zach we’re honored to have you in our presence thank you for being here thanks for asking to come um on
that note there’s actually three of us now that we all come from the same uh softball team we all play in the mpg
softball team so there’s two in Upstate New York and me down here in Texas so you have met these people oh yeah
um okay very good friends yeah and same like same way you got it the same way we’re all double amputees
right oh wow yeah who’s the better ball player oh man
I mean I can’t just say me but even though they all know it it’s fine we’ll tag them yeah so Zach before we get into
the the reason you’re here and what’s LED you to this place in your life we want to talk about your background briefly where’d you grow up I grew up in
north side of Fort Worth um went to Casper High School in Northside High School for a little bit but ended up graduating back to Castleberry
Castleberry very good so when did you went to the Marines did that was that straight out of high school about a week
after I graduated yeah what led you to that decision uh when I was younger I had a lot of family that was joining
um I saw a commercial and I was like Hey I want one of those uniforms I want to be that guy and then of course September 11
happened I was a freshman in high school um and I was running late to school that morning and saw the the TV and first one
you know obviously I think everybody thought it was just an accident then you saw the second one yeah so even as a 15
16 year old kid I knew something was wrong and I and I wanted to do something I needed to do something so while all of
us were thinking these thoughts who wanted to go help and serve you actually did something about it you signed up for the Marines yeah so my dad was in the
Army uh he wanted me to go to the Army but I just I don’t know why I was always drawing the Marines was it was it like
an issue for him or no uh in the beginning it was um there’s a lot of like pride in the yeah various branches kind of right yeah
and like I said I had more family and friends to do one of the Marines and um just to me it just seemed like the
right thing to do yeah and um like I said he eventually came around to it they wouldn’t sign for me at 17 so I had
to wait till I was 18. okay how how difficult was boot camp for you
um I mean my mom was pretty strict so I was kind of used to having that kind of structure a little bit but uh physically
though was it hard physically yes just because you never know what to expect you know I mean you hear stories you see you know commercials but they don’t show
you and they don’t tell you the truth of it all um and me I’ve always been a bigger guy
so that was a challenge for me having to lose the weight and keep it off um trying to keep up with everybody else
but I knew I couldn’t fail at it did you play sports in high school I did I grew
up playing football and baseball baseball being our main sport that my brothers and I played and that’s always
been a passion for us and still is West Side Little League I played there shortly um where Sabine no mostly a Castleberry
oh yeah it was Casper Youth Association then okay um because we really didn’t have select teams back then like they do now yeah
you know thank goodness because it’s so expensive that I pay for my son now yeah but does he play it uh where’s he play
he plays at Azle high school now okay yeah so uh we’re about to move out that way um getting him started there a little
early perfect so you made your way through the Marines you survived boot camp what was the hardest hardest thing
you ever had to do at boot camp if you mind me asking uh boot camp I mean was there one thing that just was
like oh my God just being away from home you know I mean you get that homesick feeling and that was that was the very
first time I’ve ever had that feeling of you know I’m home every day you know maybe I go out of town for a weekend but
this is three months of not seeing anybody in my family not not having any of that affection from home well and
then you’re with you’re like having to bed down with strangers man like that’s odd too like just yeah even I don’t care
like where you’re that’s happening just even like if he came over and spent the night we were in separate it’s just a
weird thing man yeah a whole bunch of different personalities from people don’t come home on Thursday nights then
yeah it’s just mixing a bunch of you know different personalities from different parts of the world or different parts of the country and it’s
it’s pretty tough but I mean I’ve made some really good friends and still friends to some of those people that I
went back to boot camp with today so yeah but just and you get so you get over that so where was boot camp I’m
sorry you guys in San Diego emergency San Diego okay and then what happens next uh then I mean we go to our schools
for our Specialties I was a driver um so motor T guy uh anything with wheels pretty much I’m gonna drive it
and was that from like a kind of a high school like grown-up thing were you into cars or no not at all my cousin was
there and I was trying to figure out what what job I wanted to do and he was like Hey do this it’s pretty cool I always want to be an MP because I knew I
wanted to be a police officer someday so I thought maybe I’ll do that but then a lot of people are like dude nobody likes emps they ruin all the fun yeah you know
they work the gate and that’s it yeah um so he was like do this man it’s pretty cool it’s pretty easy job I was like okay fine I’ll do that and then uh I
went to school for that in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri um it was pretty fun yeah you know after
that and then I got my first Duty station was in Okinawa Japan uh so I did two years there and being
was that 19 at the time you know single didn’t have any worries like that I had an amazing time getting cool different
parts of the country oh yeah absolutely learning Japanese I learned a little bit just to sit by like I hung at a tattoo
shop a lot and uh one of the tattoos that my tattoo yeah yeah so I actually
got a half sleeve all the way up to my shoulder and chest down there um I always wanted to because I like the
Japanese thing going too yeah so this side’s all Japanese uh this one actually is a portrait that a guy here did as a
painting he said I really want to tattoo this on somebody I was like go ahead you know so yeah this guy was 22 23 years
old do you have tattoos on your legs before or like like no no that’s a weird question no so the funny thing about
that is like uh when I was younger I told my mom hey I’m gonna get a tattoo and get a tattoo she’s like well you better wait till you’re 18 do it on your
own yeah that’s okay she said it better say Mom right the first tattoo better say mom so I came home one day my sister
took me it was just the cool thing to do back then was a little tribal band and I put my baseball number in it
um she found out about it before I even came home started hitting me in my arms like how do you know she’s like moms always know
um so the thing I messed with her about um when I got back from my second tour in
Iraq when I got injured and I saw my mom for the first time I was like hey Mom we got really good news and really bad news and she’s like what
I said I finally got that mom tattoo she was like okay cool bad news is I got it on top of my foot they blew it off why
are you making us cry early like this man we’re talking about the end of the movie let’s not get too far ahead so you
served three years in Okinawa yeah two years there two years you come home for a short break right and you get deployed
again to Fallujah correct well during um while we’re in Okinawa we were there maybe about six months and they pulled
us into a room and said hey we need volunteers to go to Iraq so I raised my hand and then as some others did in the
room um it was more of I remember that feeling of I I did this so I could do something
so I could help um we didn’t know exactly where in Iraq we were going to go but we just knew that they needed us there we were going
to go uh called home to tell my mom and I said hey I gotta tell you something and she said when do you leave we’ll go back to
that parent instinct you know and so I mean I told her you know it’s not for sure yet but this is what it looks like
and then we deployed to Fallujah the first time this is back in o5
my cousin was there the one that had convinced me to go be a driver and he
was finishing his tour um I found out that I was going to be a father at that point right before I left
and um a month after I got there my son was born so his daughter was just born
before I left so I got to see her um I met up with him finally uh it was
he had about a week left before he came home so we got to hang out eat dinner together a couple times but we kept
missing each other he’d come to where I was at here they’re like oh he’s out on patrol I’d go over he’s at oh he’s out on patrol so we finally met up and then
he got to see my son before I did you know saw that that first deployment was tough not
knowing if you know am I going to get to hold my son am I going to get to you know see him tell him I love him in
person I found out that he was born over an email and tried to be on the phone to
like during the the delivery and all that but um there was a lot of other things that
happened during that deployment that made it pretty tough um when I was younger I was in the explore program for the police
department and that I had a lot of positive influences there a lot of advisors that helped me out a lot
growing up uh one of them was killed during line of duty trying to serve a warrant and my mom told me about that
and I took it pretty hard um that gave me more motivation to like
seeing the 911 knowing that feeling of I got to do something more motivation okay now I’m gonna go home and really be a cop I want to be like he was you know
like what he showed me a real police officer supposed to be like here in Fort Worth so um
I mean I don’t mean to jump just our head and stuff it’s okay you speak it the way you want to speak so
um more of that like not knowing I’m gonna I’m if I’m gonna make it home or not but
I knew I had to I had my son to get home to [Music] um I just couldn’t let anything there stop
me from it you know I could hear my grandmother tell me hey say your prayers like you know
be thankful for what what God’s given you so far and what he’s gonna give what he’s what he’s going to give you and do
for you um so about seven months eight months later I
finally made it home I saw my son for the first time when I got off the bus and I knew it was like okay everything I
do now is to show him like you know you can do anything you want to do right I mean and I’m here to give you all that I
can as a father as a as a role model um after I finished the deployment in
Okinawa we went to Camp Lejeune North Carolina after a couple months I was
getting kind of bored so I said hey like is anybody going to Iraq like I want to go back I need to go back he had that
feeling of like there’s still more to be done so a group of 11 of us got together
they were putting together teams to train the Iraqi police and we went back to Fallujah this is back in 07.
um we lived out in Middletown this is a little different from the first time we actually lived on the base so
I mean you’re always on alert not knowing what’s going to happen you know and obviously it’s changed from 05 to
0705 there’s something pretty much going on every day you’re going to get into something 07 slowed down a little bit
so at that time are you like in a separate area and you’re being called into the city each time is that the way
no we lived in the middle of the city yeah in 07 we lived in the middle City it was a building that was taken over yeah we put up like little sand barrier
walls around us and that was it like we had our neighbors here like they’d hold up chickens like live chickens like hey
you want some chicken like you know a couple hours later they bring us over a cooked chicken yeah you know kids wanting to play soccer with us or you
know it’s like like I said we’re in the middle of the neighborhood but there’s probably this overall just tension oh
absolutely constantly there like did we trust this guy who wants to give us a chicken is this legit or not it’s just like this
probably raised yeah yeah absolutely um even some of the Iraqi police officers were really sketchy you know
anything something would happen they’d run so I said no no you’ll get back here this is this is y’all’s we’re here to help you not to do it for you yeah you
know it’s just like stuff like that we didn’t know who to trust um but there were some really good ones you
know some very very good ones that were there that were appreciative that we were there to help them and you can tell that they wanted to learn they wanted to
eventually take over and do this on their own um about three months into our deployment
there we had gone to the main base to drop somebody off I was a contractor that was a police officer here in the
States but was there advising with us we dropped him off at the main base um we got to enjoy a meal it was right
after Thanksgiving um so I mean it’s actually a decent meal
you know a hot shower yeah finally um and on our way back
um I wasn’t even supposed to be in the seat that I was in I convinced my buddy to get out and for whatever reason
um he got out I got in which seat exactly the front passenger seat so I mean usually we’ll switch it up I mean
because driving all the time gets boring so it would be The Driver of the Gunner or the front seat and front seat you’re just on Lookout
you’re like yeah so you’re in charge you’re in charge of the radio you’re in charge of like the Convoy if you’re that the Convoy Commander at that point
um but we were just talking it was my driver my Gunner who’s standing between us and I was in the passenger seat and
having normal conversation hey dude what are you gonna do tonight either we watch the movie uh played some cars play some
dominoes write a letter home we’re just talking like nothing all of a sudden bam it goes off like the blast
goes off our vehicle stops and like right away you’re just like days if you’ve ever been like hitting the nose in your eyes water yeah you know and you
get that stinging feeling your ears working or no oh it’s ringing it’s nothing but but Buzz oh you know can’t
even hear the other people around not at all um I remember seeing smoke and I remember smelling it at that point I
didn’t feel really anything but just like Dazed and confusion yep um I knew what it was right away just
because we trained for this stuff and you know we’ve been around them before but not that close so apparently it blew
up right underneath my seat and we were told later that they were watching us from a building
and as soon as we drove on top of it they blew it up so they were really close by I remember putting my hands to
my face and trying to like wipe the smoke and sweat and everything from my eye but my right hand never made it to
my face so it was broke in half and hanging down and I remember being able just to see my fingers dangling a little
bit um and I looked out and saw some Street and I was like wow there’s supposed to be a
door here but it the blast blew the door open it did the home of these have the V Hull they did it this time so back in 05
yeah so that that’s I think they’re crediting that so you’re helping save my life yeah back in 05 we had sandbags on
the floorboard so had it been back in 05 but definitely wouldn’t have made it um I remember asking my guys at this point
hey are you okay are you okay they said yeah we’re good and then I started feeling a burning sensation and then a
very very very painful sting so if you’re like your foot falls asleep and you hit it and it stings you know what I mean trying to wake you back up yeah
it’s just excruciating um where so I felt the burn about waist
up so I thought okay man the vehicle’s on fire we’re on fire we need to get out of here something’s happening so down
and below it was just more stinging pain um my guy said they’re okay and I start feeling this something’s not right let’s
go let’s go let’s go then I start screaming out um I start to fall out the passenger
door and my buddy reaches down the Gunner and holds me by my vest and pulls me back in the truck and I remember
telling him hey tell my son I love him tell him I love him I’m not I’m not you know tell him I love him
um and he’s like you know you know we’re gonna get you out we’re gonna get you out we finally get to a safer Zone we roll our vehicle out
can people still drive or no like this is for what we could with so the front end was was damaged pretty good but the
back back wheels were able to get us out of the chuggle barely yeah so we’re getting out so we weren’t too far away from where we lived
um one of my buddies who was still at the building where we lived um he was on the roof smoking he said he heard the explosion go off and he goes
down to the radio room and he hears me on the radio telling him hey we just got hit this is that that part I do not remember I don’t remember calling out
but he was like no it was you you said where you were what happened and that y’all were coming in so I guess I don’t
know this is muscle memory training or what yeah um we get to Safe Zone and they you know
set up a security around us they try to get me out of the vehicle but they didn’t know how bad my legs were so the
bottom of the the Humvee or my seat uh my floor floorboard my feet were had
mushroomed in and what was left on my legs was caught in that so they say like one of my my
left foot I think was in the street my right foot was in the back seat so as they tried to pull me out my they were
actually ripping my legs a little bit more and more and not knowing it until I let out a scream and they’re like what’s going on they had to put me back in
reach in and grab what was left out of that that shrapnel and get me down on
the street and start the tourniquet start you know the morphe and everything they could be kind of comfortable when
that happened where do they put they put the tournament hits like a mid thigh kind of both of them yeah so apparently when I first lost them it was just above
my ankles a little bit uh but just because of the infection and stuff like that they had to keep cutting a little higher yeah so they did the tourniquets
they did the morphine uh my buddy that was there and heard it came running out to us and he grabbed my arm just to kind
of come from me not knowing that it’s broken in half so I let out a screen he was like what what is it my heart my arm and then I mean even years afterwards I
gave him a hard time about it and he didn’t still apologize hey dude I’m sorry he’s like whatever you know um but
I remember asking him like hey is everything okay is everything okay and number you know a lot of guys that have
been in the same situation we all have one concern in our head it’s like hey is it still there like am I still man uh in
my court my hat there he’s like dude you’re good I was like okay cool fine um yeah for me yeah we try to make light
of it you know a little bit but um I felt I felt at ease at that point
um right before I left to go back to this appointment my dad passed away
um so I buried him like I buried him and then the day after that I left to go back
um we had we had a rough time growing up to get or him and I he battled addiction
um so that was rough for me growing up but at that point where my guys are on top of me trying to save me do whatever
they can I saw I believe I saw a vision of my father standing behind them give me a look like you’re gonna be okay and
at that point I kind of just you’re gonna be fine you know um
that was my like I said that my sign just relax let let them let them do what
they have to do kind of thing and then from there I they flew me to Bethesda Maryland and I
had I was there for about a month had surgery like every other day they had to clean out my legs um do more amputations and that was the
first time I got to see my son again I was having a rough time in the hospital
I would cry because I realized at that point it was when I really really realized my legs are gone you know and I
remember feeling horrible because the nurse came in and she was trying to comfort me and I and I went off on her I
was like well you have your legs you don’t know you know kind of thing and this is all new to me so I don’t know how to how to act you know or how to go
about it and afterwards I realized like man that’s I feel bad doing that to her
um she left the room crying my mom got to see me um she knew I was having a hard time
obviously she went out to the hallway and she was crying somebody walking by happened to see her and ask her what’s
going on she told her what happened just told them what happened and he was like Hey I have this guy that I think your
son would really benefit talking to um she was like yeah fine he was a
marine he came in he’s a double amputee you know he comes in on prosthetic legs I’m like what are those you know I’ve heard about him never thought I have to
use them one day and I’m sitting there thinking like I’m being a wheelchair for the rest of my life what am I going to do who’s going to want me what am I
going to do with my life you know is my son going to be made fun of because his dad’s different you know that that was
heavy on my mind but he came in and he was like man I’ve been there you know at this point too
I’ve I’ve had a lot of people come in doctors namely and man I know how you feel I know how he feels like no you don’t you know you’re not in my position
but I I could relate to this guy because he was um and he’s like I’ve been there
but there’s nothing in life you can’t do but you just have to find a different way to do it you know he said he snow
skied he water skied he Mountain climbed he tried out for a major league baseball team on prosthetic legs and did very well yeah you know and I was like wow
you know it’s kind of like that light bulb in my head you know that changed it for me he’s the guy that inspired you to
move forward yeah and like I said being able to see them and and like I said he’s been through this journey so he
know I know it’s possible it’s not just somebody tell a doctor telling me because they’re written a book and
school says I’m supposed to tell you this is how you feel you know and that really helped for me
um and then I started to not feel sorry for myself as much at that point and then I went to
San Antonio to do my rehab I was there for about a year and a half learning how to walk again and get my first set of
legs uh had a rough time there it’s still new to me the whole this life
we went out to eat with my family and I’m in a wheelchair don’t have my legs on and I noticed all these people are just
staring at me you know I look around and say okay this person’s there and this person’s staring and I’m getting pissed
to the point where like I’m in tears it’s like why do these people keep staring at me you know and when part of
our therapy was uh to talk to a psychologist once a week and I went and told this guy this and I was just going
off and I was like all these people like mind their damn business they’re keeping staring at me this and that and he told me something he was like why do you think they’re doing that or why do you
think it’s bothering you I was like I don’t know because they’re stupid like you know and he said something to me he pissed me off at first he was like dude
it’s your fault that you feel that way and I was like why like why would you tell me it’s my fault they’re the ones staring
he’s like you’re not enjoying the fact that you’re still alive you’re not enjoying the fact that you’re here with your family that your son is right here
with you you know so I was like dude that makes sense you know he said you’re too focused on the negative and too
focused on looking around to see who’s staring at you you know enjoy your meal enjoy your family enjoy your life
I was like dude okay it makes sense you know from then on I was like if I caught somebody stairs would you like to know
what happened like I don’t mind sharing my story anymore you know so that really helped me and then to see my
two-year-old son at this time running around he didn’t think his dad’s any different he didn’t see me as any different he saw
me as home he saw me there with him finally um he would push me around in my wheelchair down the hallway and he
actually screamed daddy’s home daddy’s home you know so that helped me a lot um
do you like making people cry because I don’t know if we got jalapeno juice going in the thing or something but my
gosh man I mean what a beautiful story I bet you’re used to it right yeah no I mean there’s like so much gratitude
through all this you know it’s yeah it’s good now that I have four kids yeah I
have three daughters as well it’s my main focus has been on showing them
that no matter what happens to you in life that you can do it you know I mean it’s like if they’re ever faced with a
decision or any type of bump in the road in their life do they quit or can they look back and
say hey my dad was able to accomplish X Y and Z even though he’s been through this you know I have to try at least and
I told my son that the day I graduated the academy and he pinned me on uh he pinned my badge on me I grabbed him
tight and I was like dude you can do it you can do it you know and I wasn’t even 100 sure that I could do it when I first started the whole thing I just knew I at
least had to try because that’s what I wanted to do when I was a kid um so were those the words like what
what was it in you that just kept you going was it like you can do it or yeah I can do it and if not at least try yeah
like I said it shows them that they’re watching me now yeah so yeah I’m not going to be here forever so it’s like
what do they have to look back on yeah you know I wanted to leave some type of footprint if you will yeah in their
lives to be like hey anything is possible right you know during your recovery you had a special visitor you
tell us about that yeah um when I was in Bethesda President Bush came by and uh presented me my purple heart it was
always cool because I mean how often do you get to meet a sitting president you know so he gave me his challenge coin which is you know
something that’s kind of coveted in in the military World um but uh I mean it was great he talked
to me and my family for a while even when Secret Service guys were like Mr President when you have to go and he was like you know wait and he stayed there
and talked to us it was it was very um outstanding very inspiring to see that outstanding
um some during the recovery process what would you what would you describe as being some of the harder uh things you
said learning how to walk again yeah dealing with the pain um I think I’ve always used one used
motivation as a factor for me on getting things done um my unit was still in Iraq you know
for another three uh three to four months by the time I got hurt so my goal was like they’re gonna see me walking
um I don’t want them to think this this took me down and kept me down so at that I made it a point to walk so when they
flew home they got off the bus they met with their families and I came walking around a tent and they didn’t expect me
to be there walking I mean Grant and I could only walk me about five ten minutes at a time before it hurt too bad but they were able to see me do that
um what was that like for you and for them no words were spoken it was just all tears yeah and hugs
um because everybody made it home from that trip so that was the big thing they got hit on foot two weeks after I got hit so
I was scared and I got that phone call but since then we’ve lost two members of our team one unfortunately to Suicide a
couple years ago and another we went back as a contractor after he got out of the Marines and he got killed
um did those thoughts ever cross your brain if you mind me asking suicide no
um I’ve always been scared of it I’ve always been scared of addiction due to having parents that were addicted so
even my pain meds I I would take them maybe for a week or two and I take myself off of them just because you know
it obviously ran in my family I didn’t want that to be me and honestly I think I I I’d be too
scared to do it yeah like I don’t know um my buddy that did do it unfortunately
I mean he would call me three four o’clock in the morning and I’d answer even if it was just to be like hey what’s up we did you know yeah and I got
mad at him afterwards and I said why didn’t you just call me one more time or why didn’t I call him one more time yeah he knows
I mean unfortunately it’s happening too often um I’m really hoping and praying that we
can find something that that stops that that um that number from keep going up yeah so I
mean I think fortunately I’ve been able to answer a few calls of veterans uh as B since being a police officer and have
gotten the chance to talk to him so the dispatcher knows a lot that hey if you any of these calls send me because it
does help to see or to talk to somebody that’s been through it you know you had you had two more goals after you walked
in front of your fellow your fellow company before you got to be a cop or cop was one of those two but tell us
about the two other goals you had with the the league you promised you’d coach your little league boy yeah um
I mean baseball’s always been a passion of ours my brothers and I and my older
brother has a son um a year older than my son and my younger brother just has two daughters
but I mean he’s already coaching them as well um my son’s always been
kind of drawn to baseball as well and I’m very fortunate for that very glad I mean he does aspiration have aspirations
of playing in college um that’s always where I wanted to go to but I thought you know
I think I’m have more of a calling going to this this thing I mean I wasn’t like the best baseball player ever she’s one
of those kids that saw myself as you know hearing my name shouted in the Big League Stadium or seeing my name on the
Jumbotron or something like that um we all did that yeah [Laughter]
but yeah I mean I try to keep his keep up with as much as I can like I said I play the softball as often as I can play
for that all amputee softball team it was the Wounded Warrior um amputee softball team announced the
USA Patriots and it’s just made up of military members from all across the country the different type of different
types of uh amputations so we just travel the country playing able-bodied teams do you stay in touch with these
guys when you’re not playing is it constant texting all day every day and it’s just like uh you tell them you’re
coming on here we gotta get some pictures so you can text them yeah yeah I can do that for sure sure yeah it’s just like a big old frat house man
everybody just that’s good you know talking all the time asking how the families are doing stuff like that and our families are able to talk to each
other too because there’s a lot that goes on um on their side too so they’re like a support system for each other as well
that’s huge Zach so your third goal was to become a police officer you got that done man
um obviously there’s there was a lot of maybe hesitation
um in that I started getting feelings of can I really do this like how effective can I be you know as a police officer if
I had to chase somebody or you know had to go help somebody um you have a
Physical Agility Test that you have to do and you complete within a certain amount of time and the first time I ever did it I failed it by three seconds so
that was you know kind of like a kick in the nuts it was like man I can I really do this you know yeah but then again
there was people able-bodied people that couldn’t finish half of the course in the amount of time I finished the entire
course but fell short three seconds and the next day I went and I passed it by 12 seconds just because I got that
feeling of I gotta do it I gotta do it I’m this close I can’t not do it there’s something about you you got something
with that I gotta do a thing I don’t know what it is it’s helped I mean ever since I was younger it’s like I gotta do
it it’s like it’s like a calling for me that I mean if it’s like a kick in the
butt if you will if you’re I mean I get that feeling of yeah do it you know and ever since then
I’ve had nothing but support from the Department everybody in the department was very supportive they didn’t make any
alterations to my training I did the same as everybody else I dealt with a lot of physical
um I guess problems uh in the academy so I lost a lot of weight in the academy so
my leg shape changed my socket size stay the same so there’s a lot of rubbing and pounding on my legs so I dealt with
swelling and blistering and bleeding pretty much daily until I graduated I
was finally able to go to Seattle and see my prosthetists and get me some new legs they like shrink the the size of it
is that’s what happened yeah so they just recast it to to my leg shape yeah and then just make new legs from there so then now do you have like a I’m a
little bit heavier pair of pants and then a little lighter is it like that kind of thing you know like yeah actually I mean I’ve gone through so
many legs and there’s so many different styles of you know it kind of depends on what you do what your lifestyle is like
yeah they have rock climbing shoes that are you know maybe two feet wide if that or two feet long just to grip on the
Rocks you know there’s some that made for swimming there’s some that are made for you know whatever it is you want to do yeah yeah so yeah um I’ve had some
golf legs that have rotators in them that help but um I still play now and it’s just a
blade yeah talk about your prosthetic Zach yeah before we do can I just do a real quick shout out to cap text just to
say thanks again for capex for having awesome guests like this making it possible uh Mike and the team we
appreciate it because these are stories that like we couldn’t have we maybe could have done on our own but it’s
super helpful that cap text me at least we get to see you now and have these talks so thanks again okay yeah I know for sure Prosthetics um so these so if
you see the sprinters um they’re gonna be a little bit different from what they just the blade shape of it because they
obviously need the maximum efficiency for what those those Springs do so these
are pretty much the same thing my process in Seattle um Davidson Prosthetics Greg Davidson he
pretty much designed this this leg um so like I said it’s just the blade and he added a heel to it so we can
balance if not I’d be just like bouncing on my toes constantly if I didn’t have that heel and then it just comes with
like this little foam piece it’s just for Cosmetics so my jeans don’t go in you know right
there it is it’s just the blade you know beautiful but it’s the most comfortable it’s the lightest it’s all carbon fiber
um and then where your leg goes in though um is that that’s got like a padding like
or do you have to wrap it with something no no so I wear a liner that goes over my leg Yeah um I don’t know if it’s
gonna be up so it just goes over my legs so they’re they’re both about the same length about mid Shin down is where the
amputations are and then it just goes into the socket yeah so I mean I joke around a lot of people like if I can’t
catch somebody I’ll take it off and throw it yeah or I mean another thing is if if I you know break one of my legs go
in the trunk grab another one yeah you know do you have decent speed with those actually yeah so I’ve been in a couple
foot Pursuits already and then even the people are like dude you’re pretty quick you’re a big guy you’re pretty quick yeah you know and then I tell them like
yeah and I have no legs so you just got all right yeah that’s great um tell us about the incident at the Rangers your
you told us this off air but your wife your wife gets annoyed with you for something you do with these legs yeah so like baseball’s always been a passion
the Rangers obviously my favorite team um my old one of my old pairs had the
old claw and antlers you know um on them and I like to you know get
the crowd going or go with the crowd make a little noise take them off and bring them together I went to the game with my brothers that day and she told
me do not take her legs off like stop like please you know don’t embarrass me yeah so maybe you’re over your head I
mean you can look it up and start telegram I mean it’s I’m over my head being them together and people are like getting a kick out of it and you know
kind of getting going and then we’re not too far from The Dugout where you know obviously all the reporters there with
their huge lenses and next thing you know I see my picture in the Star Telegram it’s like banging my legs
together and I was like oh crap my wife’s gonna see this and sure enough she brought it up like hey what’s this
like what’d you do I had to do it you know that’s all that’s great that’s great yeah I I mean
I had like I said it’s my life now you gotta make have fun with it yeah um and just for the baseball thing I
think someone I forgot who was actually talked to me in baseball and I caught it in my leg oh no kidding yeah oh that’s super cool yeah yeah what what type of
calls do you see as an officer what’s the typical stuff you deal with I mean why work now it’s kind of like the
Stockyards area um uniform you got uniform one or no oh yeah I work Patrol okay lots of drunk uh
college kids I’m guessing not as much as like the Seventh Street area okay but I mean this is more of the older crowd which is nice it helps uh more jdubs age
is that like that you know what even me like I can’t stand that younger crowd anymore yeah I can’t do that I can’t I
can’t come to the club yeah I don’t recover they ask raucous or no they are they more docile it’s or or is it are
they pretty in your face I think just in today’s day and age in general like the
generation or more in your face just because they think they can get away with or they have no respect for it they’re on Tick Tock yeah
I mean I have this conversation with a lot of kids today um they’re like well you don’t know what it’s like growing up I was like dude I
was out here before you were born yeah you know I was running around the streets and we didn’t have the social media back
then to say oh I saw this video okay did you see the whole video or did you see a clip of it you know you didn’t see the whole thing you don’t know the whole thing but I mean that that’s a struggle
in itself at work um I think the only a lot of kids that think they’re entitled to stuff it’s
like dude if you only knew um it’s funny that uh you know we’ll get calls like oh my 12 year old is talking
back to me what was that yeah spank him yeah well I can’t do that yes you can yeah or the kids like they can’t do that
here’s my belt like the parent needs to know like we gotta when we were younger and it worked right I didn’t do that
again because it worked yeah you know I didn’t want that to happen again yeah but they don’t get that these days
um like I said I mean it varies the calls it can be something from
you know my neighbor looked at me funny or they called me a name it’s like okay I’m sorry they hurt your feelings you
know but or it could be something as somebody’s getting robbed and we need to get there quick or somebody’s having a
domestic issue and we get there you know obviously as fast as we can to help out whichever way we can but there’s a huge
satisfaction in knowing that I’m helping people in one way or another so sure
um I mean a lot of people like do you still like your job you still like your job you still like I love it absolutely love it
um even in this day and age when it is hard to be a police officer it’s tough to to wear a uniform out in public not knowing
like who has an agenda you know against you just because you wear a uniform you may not have done anything to that
person but you wear a uniform and they’re pissed off that something happened states away sure you know but I
mean I kiss my family before I go into work at night and I work 8 P.M 6 a.m and those are rough hours
I mean they know Daddy’s doing a job what are the biggest challenges you face with two Prosthetics and being on the on
the on the on the police force um biggest challenges
I mean just you overcome so much Zach I know this isn’t a a Cutting Edge question but you what’s what what’s your
biggest over thing to overcome right now well I mean I still have in the back of my head that I don’t want to be
and I don’t want to be an issue for anybody as far as like if something was to happen I mean somebody have to carry
me out again you know what I mean I don’t want that for anybody um I mean just
doing my job the best I can you know yeah being being um and just reminding people too I’m still
a person like I I wear a uniform but I’m a human being too and then we’ve had that a lot too like we don’t know you
wear a uniform so what you know but I mean there’s a lot that they don’t see
probably in this meeting with you right absolutely and that’s why I try to have conversations with people you know and
it changed their mind and we’ve had people that have come up that you know guys that are fully tatted head to toe
pretty much and they’ll come up talk to us some like some people would would probably you know
say this guy’s up to no good like just because he’s walking up to be talking to you uh stereotyping this person but
they’ll come up with their hands up hey do you mind if I talk to you yeah yeah go ahead what’s going on hey uh I just want to say thank you for what you guys
do you know I used to be an uncle head back in the day and this is true stories that guys actually come up and said
um you know I used to be pissed off for the police because I got arrested in this and that while I was in prison I
had time to thank you it was me that made that stupid decision to do whatever I was doing and it was I’m glad I got
locked up because I’d be dead or you know I’d be still be in prison or something um but I was like dude it’s awesome to
hear that you know he didn’t see he that person didn’t see a uniform and get pissed off you know what I mean just
because he realized like whatever I did yeah for sure a lot of kids now it’s like it’s our fault they got arrested
yeah yeah I didn’t I didn’t put this gun in your hand you know I didn’t tell you to go do this or do that but so
I was going to kind of wrap it up but I was going to say you’ve been such a good uh you did make such a good kids and you’re such a good dad you went and had
four of them um how’s fatherhood treating you you got four kids man yeah four kids I mean it’s it’s absolutely
amazing uh my son is great he’s he’s gonna be 17 in September wow um
he helps out with his sisters his sisters absolutely adore him I think they like him more than me sometimes
um uh my daughters are seven five and the baby’s about to be three so we spread them out a little bit uh my wife
has been absolutely amazing she’s I mean I can’t do a lot of the stuff that that I’ve done without her
um but you know like I said everything I do is for them and to help others to like
realize that somebody out there maybe has it worse than what we do you know and I tell my
kids that a lot having seen kids that that a rock and dirt is their only form of entertainment yeah I mean they’re so
fortunate to have what they have and everything that we have here um I mean we can eat every day you know
they they have to like what are we gonna eat you know yeah from this day to to the next and and unfortunately I grew up
that way and I tell them we would my brother and sister were like we’d order a pizza and then try to go scounge around for money to pay for it
afterwards you know like we don’t know how we’re gonna pay for this yeah yeah we’re gonna figure out a way um
but fatherhood is great um I like I said I hope to plant some type
of seed in them that shows them that anything is possible in life um with a little hard work yeah well man
okay we’ll wrap this up but we’re truly inspired by you thank you one of our questions we ask all of our guests and
this might be the best one probably ever because of where you’ve come from but aside from your kids and your wife and
you’re in all marital Affairs what’s the best day of your life
the best day of my life is every morning that I get to wake up and do it all over again pretty much
um and like I said one thing I tell my kids do something learn something new today that you didn’t know yesterday
um put a smile on somebody’s face you have you have every day you wake up is a blessing and an opportunity to make it
better so I think honestly for me every day that that I wake up is
better than less that’s fantastic try to make it better and less well I got to be frank I’m glad people stare at you Zach
brisenio because you’re an inspiration man thank you very much dude in here
thank you for joining us we love you and we appreciate it thank you cap checks bank for supporting us
[Music] foreign