‘A Blessing:' Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. Grateful to Be With Loved Ones on Thanksgiving

On a day when Americans were thinking of their blessings, a Chicago police officer who had been seriously injured while on duty was having a great time celebrating Thanksgiving at home with his family.

“I’m so grateful to be able to be with my son, and wake up with him,” said police chief Carlos Yanez, Jr. “Her smile just lights up my day.”

Speaking to Vi Nguyen of NBC 5, Yanez called it a blessing to be surrounded by loved ones on holiday.

“… I can’t stop smiling, but you’re right, I would have lost it all night,” he said.

A 7-year-old soldier at the Chicago Police Department was shot dead during a car park in August, and fellow police officer Ella French died of his injuries.

“I mean always, you know, a joke, a smile, just the way I smile,” Yanez said.

From the time she was discharged from the intensive care unit in October until receiving her first eye in November, Yanez has made significant progress.

“We’ve really felt the kindness of so many people, and it’s so exciting. We really appreciate it,” said his wife Brenda Yanez.

This holiday, Yanez Jr. he said he was just thankful for the support of the community and did not take another moment lightly.

“I just want to say thank you, I can’t repay you,” he said. “I will do my best with the second chance I get.”

The police chief, Carlos Yanez Sr., a retired police officer in Chicago, said this Thanksgiving was special – no doubt.

“We have seen so many things in our lives, just as most people do,” he said. “When it happens until you experience the trauma of one of the relatives, it brings us closer and at the same time we understand how life is less stable.”

Yanez Jr. he also got a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family in blue on the Fraternal Order of Police. He is scheduled to appear in court next month for two men accused of shooting and killing a Frenchman.

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