PEORIA, Arizona -- A Peoria police officer paralyzed in the line of duty 14 years ago was able to stand once again for the national anthem thanks to the help of a special wheelchair.
Officer William Weigt made his big debut as part of the honor guard during the opening ceremony for Special Olympics Arizona last Friday, according to KPHO-TV.
“I was touched. I just think of everything that I’ve been through, that I’ve gone through, to get to that point,” Weigt told the news station.
Weigt was shot and wounded just two weeks before Christmas in 2005 while pursuing a suspect. He was hit in the shoulder just above his vest. The bullet hit a rib and ricocheted back down his spine.
"It was just a drug deal gone bad," Weigt recalled. "(The) suspect just got out of his vehicle and started shooting."
The officer was immediately paralyzed and would never walk again.
Weigt is now an Honor Guard Investigator and said that being able to stand makes all that he has gone through with his recovery worth it.
“Being a veteran of the United States Army, not being able to stand for that flag for many years, I still love it,” he said. “When everything hushed and the drums started, I’m telling you, everything just went right into place."