Those who hear what York County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lutz endured on June 6, 2016 — shot in the face at point-blank range by a fugitive, the bullet entering his nose, ricocheting through his sinuses, fragmenting, and exiting out his cheek — call it an unsurvivable situation.
But Lutz says he knows why he scratched and clawed his way back to life from the abyss of darkness.
"I think God kept me around, first, for my sons to have a dad and for my wife, but also, I think my calling is to be there for all future wounded officers ... to make a blessing out of a tragedy," Lutz said Wednesday.
"There's nothing like it in Pennsylvania," Lutz said of the effort. "There's lots of nonprofits out there that will take care of your family if you're killed in the line of duty, but not if you're wounded."
Lutz and Marsh say there are stressors that arise after an officer is wounded — from bills that need to be paid to therapy for family members — that are not covered by traditional benefits.
The two say their goal is to raise enough money so that they will be able to give a stipend to a wounded officer's family to defray some of those costs.