YAVAPAI COUNTY, AZ — A local deputy is back on his feet, months after he was shot in the line of duty.
Yavapai-Apache Police Sergeant Preston Brogdon is inspiring others with his determination to get better every day.
While he says he’s thankful for the recovery he’s done, he tells ABC15 he still has a long way to go.
“I don’t want to say I’m broken, but I know I am,” said Sgt. Brogdon.
Sergeant Brogdon says healing is the hardest part. This comes months after he was shot outside a Camp Verde convenience store.
“I’m not used to being broken. I’m used to getting up and kind of like dusting myself off and moving to the next thing, and I can’t. You guys saw me walking in with a walker.”
His wife, Bailey Brogdon, says while it’s a long road to recovery, she is just happy her beloved husband is home.
“He’s the head of our household. Nothing runs smoothly without him. I’m very grateful he’s here,” said Bailey.
“I want to be there to help my kids. I want to be there to help my wife. She’s been a real rock through this whole thing. I love her,” added Sgt. Brogdon.
He says the love and support he’s felt from his family, brothers and sisters in blue, and the community have helped make his reality a little easier.
“I process it every night. It’s just…it’s going to be a constant thought. It's in there and it’s going to pop up whenever it wants to and go away when I can help myself make it go away,” he said while remembering the day he was shot.
Investigators say Sergeant Brogdon was shot by 39-year-old Valentin Rodriguez back in February.
Rodriguez was later found dead in the Verde River.
“He is a warrior spirit. He is this strong man even still. It’s also inspiring. My husband won’t give up, and he is going to push through, and he is going to get better,” said Bailey.
“You are an inspiration to me and my family and our entire department,” added Yavapai-Apache Police Chief Nathan Huibregtse.
Sergeant Brogdon has undergone three surgeries and is expected to make a full recovery in six to 12 months
“If I can heal enough to be able to run around in the yard again with my kids…that would be healing enough for me,” said Sgt. Brogdon.
Though he still is hopeful, once he fully heals, he can go back into the line of duty.
“The calling’s still there,” said Sgt. Brogdon.