An injured Springfield Township officer was rewarded for the sacrifices he made while injured while in the line of duty.
Officer Mark Dodez was awarded the Purple Heart and a retirement badge in a ceremony at the Springfield Town Hall.
"It's an honor," said Dodez.
"Obviously the military has these awards and rightfully so, because they're in the line of fire all the time and I never thought of it like that for me."
Dodez is only the second Springfield Township police officer to receive a law enforcement Purple Heart.
One of his fellow officers and friends John Lombardi presented him with the prestigious award.
As you may recall, Officer Dodez was struck by a drunk driver on March 30 of last year while walking along South Arlington Road investigating a case, leaving him partially paralyzed.
He says the rehab process has been a roller coaster ride since his injury.
"I've made a few steps forward and taken several steps back," he said.
One of the toughest things for Officer Dodez is when one of his daughters asks him why they can't play catch in the backyard like their next-door neighbors
"One day, I'll do it, I don't care if she's 18, I will walk and I will throw the ball with her in the backyard."
He says his family, including his two daughters Jill and Lara are the reason he staying strong and trying to move forward.
Doctors told the officer he had a one in one-thousand chance of ever walking again. He walked with the use of a walker in his home last November.
Officer Dodez also credited his police family for being by his side and keeping him in the loop through phone calls, emails, and visits to his home.
He also thanked the citizens of Springfield Township and the Village of Lakemore for allowing him to serve those communities during his career as a police officer.
Lisa, Mark's wife said the award was a testament to his never-say-die attitude.
"Mark is a tough guy, he's a hard worker," Lisa said. Officer Dodez also called himself hardheaded, which made both of them chuckle.
Mary Johnston, one of the people who worked with Mark during the beginning of his rehabilitation process says that he had the right attitude throughout this whole process.
"It was pretty intensive rehab and he did a great job toughing it out with the tremendous support from his family," Johnston said.
Dodez said he will continue to work hard with help from his family and others, saying he will walk again.