H2K nominee Samantha Hodgson

On December 23, 2019, at 8 pm, Officer Samantha Hodgson of the Bryant Police Deparment in Arkansa, received a call regarding a suicidal individual. Upon her arrival and after announcing herself, the person discharged a 12-gauge shotgun through the door without ever opening it. With approximately three feet between her, she was struck on the left side of her head, neck, and shoulder. Fully aware of the situation upon regaining consciousness, she found herself lying on the ground, looking up.

Her coworkers promptly dragged her down two flights of stairs to an ambulance. Throughout the ordeal, she reassured them that she was okay, and they echoed these reassurances, which helped her maintain a sense of calm. After a brief ride to a helicopter, she was airlifted to the hospital, where her memory began to fade.

After a week in the hospital, Officer Hodgson returned home to be with her daughter. The injuries she sustained required three eye surgeries, and fortunately, her vision in the left eye was preserved. However, not all the pellets could be removed from her head, neck, and shoulder, and some remain to this day. Despite these challenges, Samantha found a renewed sense of purpose. After about nine months, she donned the uniform once again and resumed duty. With the unwavering support of her blue family, blood family, and most importantly, her daughter, she continued to move forward and remained determined to never quit.

Ben Wolfgram