After being discharged from active duty, I was offered a job as a forklift operator. Since the truck drivers loaded and unloaded their own trailers, all I had to do was put the pallets on the dock. As I was placing the pallets on the dock, I noticed that the dock was narrow to turn around. I had to back up into the warehouse in order to get the next pallet. After placing several pallets on the dock, I was backing up to get the next and noticed that I was getting close to the edge. I stepped on the brake peddle, it went to the floor. The brakes failed and the forklift went off the dock. When the back of the forklift hit the ground, I was thrown from it. But I wasn't thrown far enough, because when the forklift continued on its path (flipping over), it landed on me. The boom (piece that holds the forks) rested along the right side of my body, pinning me underneath. I was transported to the University of San Diego Medical Center trauma section where I learned that approximately 50,000 lbs of force crushed my body. In the process, I broke my pelvis in five places, received massive internal injuries and later found I was paralyzed from the waist down. Once all the tests results were in, I was told that I had a 90% chance that I would never walk again. If I did start walking, it wouldn't be for a few years. Career wise, I was either going to be on permanent disability or behind a desk. I asked the doctors if I was able to walk, could I be a law enforcement officer again and they said - No! I was further informed that the ONLY reason I survived is because of my conditioning as a Marine.

    After a few months in the hospital, I learned how to deal with my new life and was discharged. I was placed with home health so a nurse and physical therapist could come to my home weekly and help me cope. What I really needed was a counselor to help me adjust mentally. I fell into a deep depression and attempted suicide a couple of times. I felt that if I couldn't totally function normally, there was no point in living. That was totally false! Once I began to understand that there was nothing I could do, the accident happened, I began to mentally adjust to my new life. One day, it hit me - the doctor said a 90% chance and not 100% chance that I wouldn't walk again. I remembered what my Drill Instructors taught me, "as long as you have breath in your lungs, you never give up". My physical therapy (Marine Corps style) began and six months later, I took my first step. A few months after that, I gave away my wheelchair and walker, beginning my life once again upright. That was in 1995 and I have never looked back.

Education, Memberships and Awards

  • Columbia Southern University - A.A. and B.S. in Criminal Justice

  • Liberty University - Pursuing a Juris Master's in American Legal Studies

  • Member of Athens Church

  • Production Volunteer at Athens Church

  • Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers - Athens

  • National Sheriff's Association

  • Georgia Sheriff's Association

  • American Jail Association

  • Georgia Jail Association

  • American Bar Association (Student member)

  • Georgia Bar Association (Student member)

  • Marine Corps League
  • American Legion Post 163 (Statham)

  • American Legion Riders Post 163 (Statham)

  • Former Chapter President of American Criminal Justice Association

  • Former Chapter President of Columbia Southern University Alumni

  • State of Georgia "Buckle up America" award for teaching P.R.I.D.E.

  • Outstanding Leadership Award with GRYDC

  • Outstanding Service Award with GRYDC

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1860 Barnett Shoals Rd., Suite 103-547

Athens, GA 30605

(678) 656-2764