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      New Officer Overcomes Adversity to Join GIPD

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      Injured in service to his country, a Grand Island man now wears a new uniform, in service to his community, as one of six new officers joining the GIPD.

      Brian Houser was injured in a parachute accident, while drilling with his National Guard unit. He suffered a rough landing that resulted in fractured vertebrae.

      That was two years ago, when he was supposed to be joining the Grand Island Police Department. They stood behind him, and now he stands with them.

      "This day has been the culmination of two years, a long hard road," he said.

      Brian Houser gave his wife Jessica the honor of making him an official member of the Grand Island Police Department, as she pinned the badge on his new uniform.

      Doctors said the burst fractured vertebrae needed a year or more to recover, putting his police dreams on hold, until now.

      "I was off work for a year, came back to work, was thankfully able to start back at the academy," he said.

      Faith, family, and friends are the pillars Grand Island Police Chief Steve Lamken says all good officers need. That support is evident in Brian's life.

      Lamken said, "Brian's had a long hard road and yes, he's persevered through it and I'm very happy for him today."

      "There were a few moments in there, but through perseverance I told myself this has to happen, and thankfully God was able to let me do that," Houser said.

      He gains five brothers who trained with him, and they even took hits from the Taser, although Brian was able to sit that one out, because of previous training. Now six new officers receive their badges, including Mitch Meyer.

      He said, "It means the world to me, to have my family here, couldn't ask for anything better."

      It brings the GIPD closer to its goal of having more than 80 officers. For Brian Houser, it was a long wait to hear his name called. Now, you can call him Officer Houser.

      "I couldn't have done it without my wife and family being behind me 100 percent," he said.

      The chief says all six new officers have shown themselves to be outstanding and he looks forward to having them on patrol.

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