PAMPA, TX (KFDA) - It's been just over a year since an area officer responded to a call that would turn his life upside down.
Officers vow to protect and serve in the line of duty. And officer Houston Gass is a prime example of how wearing a police badge really can be life changing.
Waking up on Jan. 6, 2015, was like any other day for Sgt. Gass.
"I remember thinking and feeling that there was something...I don't know, there was just something that was off about it and I couldn't put my finger on what it was," says Gass.
But a call for assistance to a domestic violence issue brought Gass out to a home on Nelson Street.
"Whenever we made entry into the house and everything, that's kind of when my world changed," said Gass.
He had been shot in the face.
And he says the fast action of fellow officers in getting medical care saved his life.
"Their courageous, split second actions saved his life and these guys were under fire and made some unbelievable, super human decisions that really saved and possibly saved other people's lives as well, so I think they're all courageous and heroes in my eyes," Police Chief Lance Richburg said.
The following days, weeks, and months were not easy for the Gass family. Gass had his jaw re-broken multiple times. Surgery after surgery came and went. The days haven't gotten any easier. Sgt. Gass says an incident like this consumes your whole life.
"It was hard," Gass says. "At the time me and my wife had only been married six months. And you want to talk about a trial by fire, you know. She had to take care of me, take care of my wounds and things like that and that's just not something you want your spouse to have to look at and see, especially as gruesome as the wound got."
"It was very difficult," says Jessica Gass. "I just went into survival mode and you just do what you have to do, you see what you have to see and you pray and you just surround yourself with people that care."
Gass' children Emma, Austin and Harrison have also been around to see their dad on his journey back to good health.
"It was tough to know that I'm not going to be work on a regular basis, you know, because as a man you know that's kind of what we think about. We're there to support our family and that's what our job is. My job changed. It gave me a chance to be more of a Dad than I'd ever gotten to be," says Gass.
The question remains whether Gass will return to the force he called a second home for seventeen years.
"Our focus isn't...we're a 28 officer department working with 27 officers. So that's spot's still there," says Richburg. "That's not our concern. Our concern is to make sure that he recovers fully and is able to pursue his life the way he wants to."
"It is something that we're considering, something that we're praying about and everything. We're just trying to let God guide exactly where it is that we feel like we need to be and if he sees fit to go back to work in the police department, then that's what we'll do because you know ultimately, that's my life's calling right there just to be able to go and serve. It's God's story. It's not my story. God just used me to be able to tell that story and that in itself is a very humbling experience," says Gass.