Officer William Weigt never let his disability tie him down when he joined the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics Arizona Fall Games. He not only presented the American flag, but he also stood up.
Officer Wiegt has been paralyzed since 2005 when he was shot in the line of duty. He has been strapped to his wheelchair at work when he rejoined Peoria Police Department in Arizona as an Honor Guard member investigator.
The 44-year-old former US Army uses a specialized mode of transport, the Permobil F5 power chair, to help him go about his work and daily tasks. He uses it to reach high objects, improve his blood circulation and his range of motion. The chair even became handy during a Disneyland trip with the family.
However, there was one thing he has not used it before and that was to stand on it during the National Anthem until the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics Arizona Fall Games. Weigt decided to surprise his wife and kids by doing the honors of holding the American flag with one hand and the controls for the chair on the other.
It was the first time in nearly 14 years that the 44-year old was able to stand with the support of his chair. Weight may have gone home exhausted but he was nonetheless elated at what he accomplished.
“Being an Army veteran and not able to stand, it was a good moment,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle. Weigt revealed that he stood for a total of about 45 minutes including the dry runs because they had to make sure that they got it right. However, he said that “it was well worth it.”
The Peoria Police Department shared a photo and video of the said opening ceremony which showed Weight’s determination to march alongside his fellow Honor Guards. It was indeed a proud moment for him, his family, and the Peoria Police Department.
— Peoria Police (AZ) (@PeoriaPoliceAZ) October 27, 2019