Matias Ferreira, of Wantagh, New York, immigrated to the United States with his family from Uruguay when he was just six years old.
When he arrived to the U.S., he saw a service member in uniform and told his dad that he wanted to be just like that man when he grew up.
Ever since then, he had always dreamed of joining the Marine Corps, and after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, he decided to go for it and make his dream a reality.
After graduating high school, he enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps, and just days after becoming a U.S. citizen, he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
Six months later, his deployment came to an unexpected halt and his life came crashing down.
When he jumped off a roof in Afghanistan, he landed on an improvised explosive device (IED) that left him with severe injuries.
He was airlifted out of Afghanistan to a hospital, where he learned that he had a broken pelvis and shattered femur. His injuries were so bad that both of his legs needed to be amputated below the knee.
Now a double amputee, Ferreira had to not only adjust back to civilian life, but also had to learn how to live without legs.
Despite what he’s been through, Ferriera kept a positive attitude and learned to accept the hand that he’s been dealt.
Instead of letting it get him down, Ferriera went on to achieve more goals.
He went on to graduate from the Suffolk County Police Academy on Long Island, New York, and on March 24, 2017, he became the department’s first full active duty double-amputee officer.
Not only was he the first for the department, but he was the first double-amputee to service in the entire United States.
Hear more of his inspiring story in the video below: