Editor note: The heartwarming footage can be found at the bottom of the article.

Hey LeBron, the next time you decide to start running around in the middle of the National Anthem trying to get a crowd excited about a basketball game, rather than allowing them to take a minute to honor our nation, I want you to think of the name Bill Weigt.

racists vandalized

Hey Kaepernick, the next time you kneel for the anthem and then drop back to throw a touchdown pass on Monday Night Foot…oh, wait, you don’t play anymore. So…I guess the next time you are feeling heroic, I want you to remember his name as well.

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick. (Kate via Flicker)

Megan Rapinoe, you remember that flag that you so callously discarded during the World Cup. The man I have mentioned spent years working to get to the point where he could stand, hold it and honor it.

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe

The Peoria police investigator was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty 14 years ago. Yet recently, he was able to stand for the national Anthem as a uniformed member of the Peoria PD Honor Guard. It was something he had been longing to do for 14 years but was unable to do so because of his injuries.

That, my friends, is heroic. Taking a knee, not so much.

You see, contrary to popular belief and the over-inflated sense of self-worth that you three possess, you are not heroes. You are athletes. You get paid to play games. Your sacrifice? A lot of time training, playing and maybe even rehabbing if you sustain a minor injury.

Weigt on the other hand…he made his community a little bit safer. And all it cost was his ability to stand, or walk, or jump.

Of the event at the Special Olympics, Weigt said, “I’d been wanting to stand for the national anthem for 14 years. I was a little overwhelmed at first, but it was so exciting.”

Weigt, a former U.S. infantry soldier, was one of several Peoria police officers who responded to a report of a shooting at approximately 4:30 a.m. just a week before Christmas in 2005.

Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans?  It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans.  Proceeds get reinvested into giving these heroes a voice.  Check it out today.

LET Unity

 

The gunman fled the area in a vehicle, then led officers on a brief pursuit when they spotted him.

At one point, the suspect stopped in the middle of the street and opened fire on the pursuing officers, the PPD said.

One of the rounds hit him just above his ballistic vest, resulting in severe damage to his spinal cord.

The gunman was killed during the shootout.

Despite the severity of his wounds and the permanent paralysis caused by the bullet, Investigator Weigt returned to duty in less than a year,according to the Peoria Police Department.

The PPD shared a photo and video footage of Weigt and his fellow Honor Guard members as they participated in the Special Olympics Arizona opening ceremonies on Oct. 25.

When he got into his car to leave later that night, he became emotional while reflecting on the totality of everything that had just occurred, he explained.

After being applauded and hugged by many of the Special Olympics participants, Weigt said he is especially grateful that others with disabilities view him as an inspiration.

He is also thankful for his Permobil F5 motorized chair, which allows him to lay, stand or sit.

“I had lot of spasms and pain,” the investigator told Today. “Being able to change positions helps with that. I feel good.”

He called his new chair a “blessing.”

“Of course, I would like to go and get my body back, but I can’t, so I make the best of what I’ve got,” Investigator Weigt said. “And I have a really great life.”

So, Colin…the next time Nike pitches an idea to you about being the face of sacrifice, perhaps you should decline. Then you recommend Bill Weigt to their marketing team. Perhaps they will finally grasp the concept of ‘truth in advertising’ and get a view of what an actual hero looks like.

 

It’s always an honor to share heartwarming stories like this.  Now we want to bring you the story of another hero wounded in the line of duty.

It’s graphic and may be difficult for some people to read… but it’s one of so many stories that need to be told.

Bryan Shaw was shot in a sniper attack that claimed the lives of 5 Dallas are officers and wounded numerous others. Thankfully, he survived, and was able to join us to tell his story, which can be which can be found here.

Just months after he was shot… his brother, Texas State Trooper Danny Shaw, was shot at the border – hit by a bullet that came from the Mexico side.  You’ll find his story below Bryan’s.

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

The entire reason we launched LET Unity was to give a voice to officers like Bryan, who have never been able to tell their stories.  It’s a tragic story – but also one filled with hope.  With lessons.  And with a dose of reality that America needs.  

Proceeds from LET Unity memberships go directly back into telling the stories of warriors like Bryan.  We hope you’ll consider signing up.  The mainstream media isn’t giving them a platform.  Social media is censoring them.  Help us to help them.

My wife told me:

“You got shot and kept going and didn’t stop and did everything that you were supposed to do.”

Like, I still cleared the person I saw after I got shot, while they were still shooting to make sure that they were safe.

So, she told me:

“That is what you were made to do. I’m not going to tell you to quit because that’s who you are.”

I’ve been in law enforcement about six years. I’m with the college district, so we patrol the college campuses.

The most life changing part would be the day I got shot, on July 7, 2016 in downtown Dallas at El Centro College.

I was there the day that parts of downtown were shut down from protests taking place.

It all started the day before. We had heard that there was going to be a bigger protest on Thursday. There was a protest on Wednesday of about 200 people there marching around. We had five officers on duty that night. We happened to be outside.

They started marching towards the school, saw us, turned a different direction and that was about the end of that protest.

So, then Thursday comes along. We’ve been watching, following social media and everything. They’re expecting fifteen hundred, two thousand people to show up for this protest. So we knew we knew this was going to be a lot bigger protest.

I’d been talking with another officer from DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). She’s been keeping me in the loop on what she knows; I’ve been telling her stuff that I know.

So, I get on my shift at 3:00 p.m. We do our briefing and the sergeant comes up to me, because I was a corporal at the time, and tells me:

“Hey, I’m not going to be here. I have a viewing to go to. So, you’re going to be in charge.”

Okay, no problem. I’ve done it multiple times before. So, not a big deal.

Then she pulls out our gun safe key, which is normally kept downstairs in the basement where our PD is and the gun safes up on the first floor.

Normally I don’t carry that with me, but she told me:

“Here take this. You won’t need it, but just have it, just in case.”

Ok, so then we go about our patrols. We’re doing our normal activities. Then the chief calls me and says:

“Hey, change of plans. We’re going to want you lock down the doors and you’ll stay inside.”

Because normally during a protest, we’ve had one or two officers at Maine and Lamar; one or two a little bit further down the street, and one at Main and Market Street. Where the initial shooting took place was made on Lamar.

But the chief told us:

“No, you’re not going to be outside. I want you inside the school and have the doors locked.”

So, I call my guys tell them:

“Hey this is what we do.”

And they all complain:

“You know, I don’t want to do that. I want to be out there just like a typical patrolman, typical cop.”

I said:

“Hey, chief said that’s what we’re doing. So, that’s what we are doing.”

Then I tell them:

“Hey, protest is going to start around 7:00, 7:30 I think. Grab something to eat, meet back here at six thirty. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I want you all to have already eaten, not trying to be trying to get food later.”

So we meet up. We’re standing there. I’m getting texts from the officer, she tells me:

“Hey, there’s about 1500 people down here.”

They’re doing their rally down there. That’s two blocks away, but they’re about to start the protest. They’re about to start marching towards our campus, down to the JFK memorial.

Staying inside and keeping an eye on the building … that was still the plan. We had all the doors secured. We’re standing in, it has a little rotunda part that’s all glass, we were all standing in there watching them go by. We had five officers in there, including myself.

So, they go down towards Market Street towards the JFK memorial. Three of the officers go down toward that entrance and say:

“Hey, we’re going to keep an eye on that to make sure no one comes in, or if anything happens, they won’t start destroying our property.

So then right around 9:00, me and one of the officers are standing there in the rotunda, then we hear some gunshots.

I’m looking around a little confused. Where’d that come from. Then I hear some more.

So, we start going, I knew where the area was it was coming from. I start calling on the radio:

“Gunshots at Main and Lamar.”

So, the other officers meet up with us and we start to push through the doors. I’m leading the way, we’re pushing through the doors, then all the sudden the glass starts shattering around us. He showed at us about eight times.

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

The initial shooting started around 9:00. I was hit probably at 9:03. I got shot in the abdomen.

My wife reached out and told me that she was getting texts from some people she worked with.

“Hey, is Bryan working tonight? Is Bryan okay?”

She was getting ready for bed. She’d put the kids to bed and was getting ready for bed and didn’t have the TV on, and she’s texting them:

“Yes, what’s going on?”

But no one responded.

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

An image of the vest that stopped a bullet.

I text my wife.  I told her I was hit, but I’m okay. Everything’s fine. I was able to keep her calm. I told her I would text her when I could. But I was ok.

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

An image of the bullet.

Funny story about that part is, two weeks before, I was in a class for high risk search warrants and the instructor is with the ATF for Mississippi. He told us in the class:

“Not all gunshot wounds are fatal. They can be if you panic and get scared. You can cause your adrenaline to start pumping, and you start losing more blood, you go into shock.”

Heart and head, yeah those can be fatal but most of time they’re not.

And I told her that. I said:

“You know, that’s true. They’re not like that.”

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

So, having that class two weeks before, and I told her that, she was like:

“OK, well he told me already that not all gunshot wounds are fatal. So, he’s fine.”

After I got shot, I went down, then got back up into cover. I called the chief told him that we were taking fire.

One of the other officers was asking me:

“Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?”

I patted my side, told him I’m fine. You know:

“I’m fine, you’re fine, everything’s fine. But our radios don’t receive each other.”

So, I didn’t know if this was protesters shooting each other, two counter-protesters got into a shootout or what was going on. I didn’t know that we were the targets.

I drove myself to the hospital 15 hours later. Adrenaline is good.

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

Would Shaw ever consider hanging it up and leaving?

I was determined to stay in. My wife told me, “you got shot and kept going and didn’t stop and did everything that you were supposed to do.”

I still cleared a person I saw after I got shot, while they were still shooting, to make sure that they were safe. So, she told me “this is what you’re made to do. I’m not going to tell you to quit, because that is who you are.”

Later in the same year, Shaw’s brother Danny, who is also in law enforcement was shot. Considering the brothers were shot within a few months of each other, what advice would Shaw give to younger officers?

Texas officer Bryan Shaw shot by sniper while protecting Black Lives Matter protestors

Always wear your vest. That’s 100%, all of the time, wear your vest. Mine went through the vest, but luckily, I think the vest slowed it down enough to where it didn’t kill me.

You know, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t wear their vest, and they’re not here today because of it. And always watch your six. Don’t get complacent. If you get complacent that’s when things happen to you.

There’s never a routine call. Every call is different. Not all gunshot wounds are fatal. I mean, you can survive a lot.

So, just pray!

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

Danny Shaw

Bryan’s brother, Danny Shaw, was shot while conducting border operations. Thankfully, he survived, and was able to join us to tell his story, which can be which can be found here.

Some shots rang out.  One of the border patrol agents got hit in the chest. and then

I got hit and went down and was like… what just happened. My leg’s on fire. I can’t move my leg. I’ve been shot.

I was raised towards the Metroplex.  I was a welder by trade and got laid off after 9/11. So, I tried to become a fireman. Nobody wanted me. So, I said the police will take me!

I got hired on with the county. I became a K9 handler and then became good friends with all the other state employees.  It’s like, you know what, I think I’m on track.

So, for the past 10 years I’ve been with the State of Texas.

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

I’ve enjoyed getting into the narcotics aspect of it. Finding large amounts of dope on the highways. I enjoyed that more than anything. The interdiction part was fun.

But my worst day on the job… it was a bad one.

We’re doing border operations down in the valley. There was a firefight between some individuals. The Mexican state police, or military, they were firefighting down through the river. They finally came to a little spot, the bad guys ditched all the weapons and come over to our side, buried up in the water.

You know the helicopters today; we’ve got communications with them. Time for y’all to go get them, myself and the other guys lined up, getting ready to go.

Some shots rang out. One of the border patrol agents got hit in the chest; then I got hit and went down and it’s like, “what just happened?”

It’s like, “well, my legs on fire.”

I can’t move my leg. I’ve got to start yelling

“I’ve been shot.”

That’s when a few of the guys ran down grabbed me, dragged me back up to safety, got a tourniquet on me, cut my clothes off.

Then our helicopter landed, they threw me in the helicopter, a 30-minute helicopter ride to the hospital. I was hit, uh, about an inch above my penis. There’s no other way to say it. Right in the groin area. It went through. It took out 98 percent of my sciatic nerve, fractured my femur, and with it taking out the sciatic nerve, I’m paralyzed from the knee down.

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

I can’t feel anything. I can’t move anything. It was kind of like a limp noodle.

My brace allows me to walk, goes down the side and a plate across the bottom my foot, because I’ve got drop foot, lets me walk.

What was going through Shaw’s mind when he got shot?

I’ve got kids. I can’t die. I didn’t know how bad it was.

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

I was like:

“I got kids. I gotta go home. I’m going home.”

That’s all I could think about the whole time.

Shaw’s brother Bryan was shot in the line of duty just months before in the Dallas sniper attack. Surely that had to play a role in his thought process as he was going into the hospital.

It did.

Once I got to the hospital, they did all their stuff, and then because where the entry wound is, they said:

“Well, we have to do exploratory surgery.”

And I was like:

“Oh Lord.”

So, they knocked me out. When I woke up, I was in the recovery room and it was my mom and dad, my wife and both my brothers. It was good to see them.  I wouldn’t expect them to be there, but they just happen to be in San Antonio. I think they might have gotten there about the same time as my parents, but they were all there.

It’s like:

“Well, I’m here.”

I made it, so that’s a plus.

Was it determined who had shot him?

No. Nobody talked about it. Unless somebody decides to confess, I’ll never know.

The shot that hit Shaw was estimated to have been fired from 200-250 feet away, from across the border. Was it apparent to him that he was targeted rather than just getting hit with a stray bullet?

Yeah, pretty intentional.

What about the damage to his leg, the surgeries and the rehabilitation process?

Well, they took nerves out of both calves, so on one calf, I got six slices about three inches, long all the way down. On the other one, I got seven. Same way, they took the nerve out of those and then filleted me open like a fish on my butt, and then I guess, rewired my sciatic nerve. They said it could be 12, 15, 20 years before I get feeling.

How does his family deal with not his shooting, but his brother’s shooting as well?

Well, I’m not sure how my Mom handles it. I really don’t, but through the church and all her friends praying.

What has gotten Shaw through this?

My family and God.

Texas Trooper shot from across Mexican border - just months after police brother shot in Dallas

Any advice for someone going through something similar to what he went through?

It can’t get any worse. Just hang in there. You know people love you. Just hang on to your family and your religion whatever it might be. It’ll get you through it. You’ll get better. May not be today or tomorrow, but it’ll get better.

Special thanks to Bryan Shaw for sharing his story in a sit down interview, which can be found here.

Thanks to Danny Shaw for sharing his story as well, which can be which can be found here.

Once again, the entire reason we launched LET Unity was to give a voice to officers like Bryan, who have never been able to tell their stories.  It’s a tragic story – but also one filled with hope.  With lessons.  And with a dose of reality that America needs.  

Proceeds from LET Unity memberships go directly back into telling the stories of warriors like Bryan.  We hope you’ll consider signing up.  The mainstream media isn’t giving them a platform.  Social media is censoring them.  Help us to help them.