He was injured in the line of duty, serving and protecting his community. Friday, an East Texas officer is telling his story publicly for the first time.
This was the scene from the air in Frankston about a month ago, shortly after a high speed chase ended. One suspect was killed, and another was taken into custody after a house burglary. A Frankston police officer was injured and in critical condition.
Officer Jason Ward was released from the hospital just two weeks ago. Today, he's back home, and shared his incredible story with KLTV 7's Layron Livingston.
Even after his experience, this officer is eager to get back to work, and he says there's much to be grateful for.
"I could be laying eight feet under right now," said Officer Jason Ward. "There's really no telling."
Officer Ward says he'd only been on the Frankston force for two months. He and his partner were on patrol when they got a call about a speeding car.
"We pulled in front of it, lights activated. It went around us, we turned around and chased it," said Officer Ward.
The suspects' silver Cadillac eventually rammed a tree head-on. One suspect surrendered, and the other took off. Officer Ward says that's when he took off after him.
"He had tripped and fell, I got on top of him, sprayed him, he turned the spray back at me, it sprayed me," said Officer Ward.
He says there was a struggle.
"That's when he, at that time, took my pistol and clobbered me in the head with it and knocked me out," said Officer Ward. "The first thing that actually goes through my mind, is how is this going to stop...am I going to be able to survive this?"
Reserve Officer Elizabeth George is his partner.
"Finding him the way that I did find him...it was everything I could do to hold myself together, because I honestly thought he was dead," said Officer George.
The suspect was later shot and killed by authorities, and Officer Ward was flown to a hospital. His wife and family eventually heard the unsettling news.
"We had a little bit of a freakout," said Jason's wife, Leslie Ward. "We got to see him before he was wheeled into surgery."
"They said that he was in a pursuit and he had head lacerations," said Cordell Ward. "Me and Sierra thought we were going to lose my dad, but he pulled through."
He spent 9 days in the hospital.
"They restructured my facial features," described Officer Ward. "That kind of hurt you know, for him to come in there and see me with a tube hanging out of my head."
Officer Ward says he's grateful for his partner, for his family, and for an entire community of support.
"People were mailing letters," said Officer Ward. "I don't know if you remember me, but you stopped me here, and this is what you told me, we're thinking about you...we're praying for you."
"We never thought we had a family this big," said Leslie Ward. "Makes us not take anything else for granted."
"Exactly," agreed Officer Ward.
His uniform now hangs on the door, freshly starched and pressed - ready for the day he gets to head back to the force.
"I get stronger as he gets stronger," said Officer George.
"I can't wait to go back...it's what I always wanted to do," said Officer Ward.
He's grateful for a speedy recovery.
Officer Ward says he hopes doctors will clear him to return to work early next year. As of today, he says no additional charges have been brought against the suspect taken into custody that night.