And all of a sudden, I just felt kind of a pulsing sensation on my back.
It was an ambush.
A bullet from an AK-47 lodged in his spine.
As I was lying there, immediately knew and had some pain and just kind of almost felt like electrical stimulation just kind of pulsing through my back.
Everything in your life has changed very suddenly.
There was. Yeah.
In an instant, you know, and it's one way it would have missed me completely, and it's the other way, it would have gone straight to my heart and killed me.
Months of rehabilitation would follow.
A new battle for the officer adjusting to being completely paralyzed from the chest down.
Overtime I came to realize that of the many friends that I've had who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Any one of those guys would be happy to be in my position and continue to leave a life.
One of those guys, Captain Matthew Manukian, a friend whose name he wears in bronze.
Tell me about your bracelet.
I wear that every day just to try to remind myself and try to have a small visible reminder of the sacrifices that these guys have made and remind myself that, you know, that I have a gift and I'm happy to be here and still able to continue to move forward.
And moving forward is literally what he is doing.
Just needs a little help.
This is the ReWalk exoskeleton.
An FDA approved 70,000 wearable robotic device that powers Herrera's hip and knee motion.
It allows him to walk on his own.
The first American to own one.
The president of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the bronze star medal to Captain Derek J. Herrera.
Now, the first paralyzed service member to stand and walk as he receives his bronze star with valor.
I've been able to stand and receive this award, which is kind of.
It will be a symbol and show others that I'm not out of fight.