Purple Heart recipient told he would never walk again sworn in as Chula Vista police officer
CHULA VISTA (KUSI) — Purple Heart recipient Christopher Lawrence was told he would never walk again after being severely wounded in Iraq in 2008, but after nearly a decade of recovery and training, he is now one of the newest additions to the Chula Vista Police Department.
As a United States Marine, Lawrence sustained life-threatening injuries to both legs and one arm when an IED exploded as he was crossing a bridge. His injuries were so severe, he was told he would never be able to walk again without assistance and one leg would need to be amputated.
But Lawrence persevered. Through physical training, he learned to walk again — and eventually was able to run. That is when he knew — with a little push from a friend — it was time to follow his dream of becoming a police officer.
The physical tests were rigorous and Lawrence failed his first attempt at the police academy, but he tried again — this time at the Southwestern Community College where he graduated as an Honor Graduate, the academy’s highest award.
Lawrence will be sworn-in Friday with Stephanie Campolo as the newest members of the Chula Vista Police Department.
Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy attributes Lawrence’s success to his strength of character and attitude to get things dome.
"I have never met a more abled-body person in my life,” Kennedy said. "I couldn’t be more proud to have Christopher become part of the Chula Vista Police Department family."