Marine Veteran Becomes Police Officer After Losing His Leg To An IED In Iraq

news
Former Marine Sgt. Christopher Lawrence lost a leg in Iraq, but now he’s a police officer in southern California.
Screenshot via Fox 5.

In 2007, an improvised explosive device explosion in Aloos, Iraq, left Marine Sgt. Christopher Lawrence with life-threatening injuries, a severely injured left arm and a badly mangled right leg. In 2008 Lawrence made the decision to have his injured leg amputated and was told that he might never walk again without assistance.


Now, he is about to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a cop.

On June 23, 10 years after the blast, and nine years after he lost his leg, Lawrence will be sworn in as a police officer with the Chula Vista Police Department  in southern California, according to a press release from the department.

"I always looked up to them and thought about becoming an officer after I got out of the Marine Corps, that's something I would do," Lawrence said in a June 21 interview with a local Fox News affiliate. "I wouldn't have ever guessed nine, 10 years ago when I got injured that I would be achieving this."

Lawrence’s road to recovery was hard, including dozens of surgeries and a skin graft the length of his left arm, and he’s had to slowly learn to walk again. But after medically retiring from the Marine Corps in 2010 following five years of service, Lawrence began building his body back up through a strict workout routine, which included cycling, running, and boxing. It was after he knocked out an opponent in the ring that he realized he wouldn’t be hindered by his injuries.

Related: This Marine Veteran Is The First Ever Double Amputee To Become A Police Officer »

Though Lawrence had a few false starts with joining the force — his application was rejected from a few different agencies due to concerns over physical limitations — he stuck with it, according to an NBC News affiliate in San Diego. He enrolled at the Southwestern Police Academy in Chula Vista, to show prospective agencies he was up to the task. Lawrence flew through the course, impressing his peers and potential superiors.

“I have never met a more abled-body person in my life,” Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said in the June 15 statement. “The power of his attitude and character, and the strength in his heart easily overcome the physical challenges. His life and the challenges he has overcome are an inspiration to others.”

In May, another Marine veteran, Matias Ferreira made history when he became the first double amputee in the U.S. to become a police officer.

Following the swearing in ceremony Lawrence will begin field training immediately.

WATCH NEXT:

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Read More
Ships from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 transit the Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2020. DESRON 23, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

Read More
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores and his family. (GoFundMe)

When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.

Read More