Lexington, VA - April 19th 2013, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Officer Richard Donahue was shot and nearly killed by one of the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing suspects.
He would ultimately survive, and live to tell his story to a room full of cadets at his alma mater, VMI on Tuesday.
"The road back is not easy. But the decision to drive on is, because there are people who did not give up on me" he said.
Donahue is a fighter. He was nearly killed in a shootout with the alleged bombers of the Boston Marathon. But that night he fought, against all odds, to survive.
Ultimately, he would return to his alma mater, VMI, to share the story from the night he nearly lost it all.
"And the ER doctors who gave a full effort for 40 minutes before my pulse came back. Something inside me somehow didn't quit, and nobody quit on me" he said.
Donahue would leave the cadets with three lessons he learned the night of the 19th.
"That is, you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for any life changing situation" he said.
Preparation, courage, and a clear vision he says are all what helped him fight through that night. It was a message heard loud and clear from the crowd of leaders in training.
"Anything he said I was able to relate that to something in my life that I'm going through right now. And I know that I'll be prepared in the future. VMI creates great leaders, and I'm ready to be one of them" said Alyssa Ford a senior VMI cadet.
"I was really just kind of prepared to do my job in April and you try to do what's right and sometimes bad things happen, and you've got to respond to them the right way and recover from them and again, do the best you can" said Donahue.
Donahue is the father of an 18 month old daughter. He is still receiving extensive rehabilitation; the bullet severed a major artery in his leg, he went weeks without walking. But after a full recovery, he hopes to get back into the police force, and serve again.