Injured LPD Officers Receive Purple Hearts, Thank Community for Support

Published 02/14 2014 06:06PM

Updated 02/14 2014 10:14PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- Two Lubbock Police officers injured in the line of duty received Purple Heart Awards Friday.

Officer Timothy Varner was shot in October 2013 while police said he was responding to a call of a man with a gun outside of the Salvation Army.

Officer Varner was also honored with the two officers who responded with him that night. They all received the Lief Saving Award. He has been recovering and has returned to light duty.  He and two other officers received Life Saving Awards for their work that night in October.

"I got a broken bone, after all this, and that's minor, everyone else, the reason I'm still standing here, is because they did their job right," Officer Varner said.

"They are the reason I'm here, without a doubt they did their job perfectly that night and yeah, they always have, that's the way the PD is, and those two guys are excellent at it," Officer Varner said.

Along with Officer Varner, Officer Mike Matsik also received a Purple Heart Award. Officer Matsik was hit by a car in January while serving a warrant. He was joined by Gary Davis, a postal worker who was on scene when the accident happened, and performed first aid to Officer Matsik.

"I'm fortunate to be standing here instead of some other place right now you know, God was on my side," Officer Matsik said, also saying his family has been a major support to him.

Davis received the Good Citizen Award for his actions that day.

"I had just been run over by a car I didn't know what was going on, or anything like that, just hearing him, knowing that I had somebody there with me, made a huge difference," Officer Matsik said about Davis' presence that day.

"I think that guy is a true citizen, he is a true hero in my opinion, and I think God put him there for a reason," Officer Matsik said.

Both officers wanted to use Friday as an opportunity to thank not only their fellow officers for their support, but the community as well.

"It's been amazing, you couldn't ask for a better thing to happen in this city, and these guys have helped out every step of the way," Officer Varner said.

"It's overwhelming, the brotherhood and the unity that the PD has is above and beyond, and then the community too, they've reached out," Officer Matsik said.

These two officers received the first Purple Heart Awards in the City since the City was recognized as a Purple Heart City by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Both said they are recovering and hope to be back to full work soon.

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