FORT HOOD- Retired Sergeant William Fisher is new to the Fort Hood Police Department, and he is already turning heads. In fact, as far as Fisher knows, he is the only officer of his kind in the entire Department of Defense.
“To be honest with you, yes I was surprised. He wants to be treated like one of the guys, and so far there has been nothing put in front of him that he cannot do,” said Fort Hood Police Captain Rex Spicer.
It is not Fisher’s 16 years of military service or his dedication to serving others that sets him apart. It’s something entirely different that makes him special.
“Wearing pants all the time you really can’t tell that I’m an amputee,” said Fisher. “It is what it is. You can’t change it. You learn to live with it and adapt to it.”
In August of 2009, Fisher was deployed in Iraq when he fell 40-feet from an overlook. As he landed standing up, he crushed his right ankle and broke his back.
“After four years and six surgeries on my ankle of trying to revive it, fix it, and fuse it together, my life vs. the pain wasn’t worth it,” he said. “Amputation was probably the best decision I ever had to make concerning my injury.”
After amputating his right leg in 2013 and medically retiring from the Army, Fisher began his journey of public service as a civilian. After a recommendation to join law enforcement, he started a nine-week course to become a military police officer.
“It wasn’t until week five that everyone in my class knew I was an amputee. I would take PT tests wearing pants to not show my prosthetic,” he said. “It confused everybody for a little bit because they didn’t realize I was an amputee doing all the obstacles and the same training they were doing.”
Fisher changed his classmate’s perspectives on amputees and proved that his disability does not define him.
In 2014 he joined the police force at Fort Meade, Maryland. This past June, he joined the Fort Hood Police Department’s traffic section. Fisher says he is the only amputee to serve as a federal officer across the entire Department of Defense. He hopes that will inspire others.
“Being an amputee and walking around in a uniform, I hope others see it and say, ‘Hey maybe I don’t have it so rough or so bad’,” he said. “It’s finding something inside of you to help push you along.”
For Fisher, that motivation is helping others. In addition to being a police officer with 16-years of military service, Fisher is also a rescue diver with the Morgan’s Point Underwater Recovery Team, and he plans to join a local volunteer fire department.
But he could not do it alone. While Fisher has dedicated his life to serving others and pushing himself to overcome all odds, the support from his Fort Hood team and family is what keeps him going.
“I couldn’t do it without the team I have. We’re always backing each other up,” he said. “To be an amputee and have so many supporters in your corner, it’s a good feeling.”