An Eastern Kentucky native receives a purple heart after being shot more than 10 times. Now he's back at his Letcher County home, for the holidays.
For Whitesburg native and Missouri State Trooper Brandon Brashear, it's been a difficult year. When a traffic stop took a turn for the worse, Brashear says he was shot more than 10 times and is still recovering a year and half later.
"That night when it happened, I'd accepted that I was going to die. I just knew that and when you wake up it kind of does a number on you mentally because it's just hard to process," he said.
"I just know God took care of him that night because there was many different places where his body if the bullet would have been a half inch or an inch more he wouldn't have made it," said Brandon's mother, Mary Brashear.
The Missouri State Police awarded Brashear the Purple Heart for his contribution to the profession.
"It was special to be because it was the first one they ever presented. It meant a lot to me," Brandon said.
Brashear returned home to Whitesburg for the holidays and unbeknownst to him, friends and family were waiting with a surprise celebration of their own.
"We thought it would be a nice thing to do and a nice gesture to do at Christmas when the boy came home to see his family," said Brandon's Cousin Jim Haynes.
"It's just nice to know you have friends and family who love you and really care about you and what you do," Brandon said.
Brashear received an engraved commemorative firearm honoring him for his service.
"If you're doing this job and you're out there and you're working, you're doing it because you believe in it. You believe in what you're doing and you're making a difference and you know that because you can see it," Brandon said.
This Christmas, Brashear says he believes somebody upstairs looking out for him.
Brashear says he's glad he has been able to fulfill his life's work, by protecting others.