A soldier seriously hurt in the line of duty accomplished a major milestone Friday. He was among 80 new officers from across Tennessee who graduated from the police academy.
Officer Jeremy Vanhoose says the 10 weeks of training to become an officer were grueling but he stayed optimistic he would finish the program.
“Don't ever give up. If you have a dream, nothing is impossible. You can definitely do it,” the new officer told News 2.
Prior to becoming an officer, Vanhoose was in the military and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
“Pretty much over there, I was just a K9 handler, searching for explosives,” he said.
One day, while searching for explosives in abandoned compounds and clearing road ways, he stepped on an IED. His injuries were significant.
“A left leg amputation below the knee, shrapnel to my back and my right leg, and a TBI, a traumatic brain injury,” Vanhoose explained.
Vanhoose said it has been a long road to recovery but he wasn't done doing what he loved.
“I decided I still wanted to serve my country, just here state side,” he said.
Friday, Vanhoose accomplished that goal and was even elected class president by his peers.
At the ceremony, his wife Kacy Vanhoose was overcome with joy.
“I am so proud of him, so proud,” she said. “How can you not be inspired by someone like him? He's awesome.”
The couple says they hope other people facing challenges are inspired by their story.
Officer Vanhoose starts Monday with the Portland Police Department.