'I didn't pass out': Milwaukee police detective injured in Shake Shack shooting enjoys flight with Blue Angels

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Police Detective Andy Wilkiewicz has two dream jobs: fighter pilot and Major League Baseball player. Thanks to his bravery, and the generosity from several hometown organizations, he has now had the opportunity to experience what both are like.

"I got to get both those off my list this year," Wilkiewicz said. "The ride was incredible."

One month after receiving the Milwaukee Brewers' Hometown Champion Award and throwing out the first pitch for a game, Wilkiewicz, who was shot multiple times saving a woman and her children from an armed car jacking in Milwaukee's Third Ward in January 2022, was given the opportunity to take a VIP flight with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels ahead of the 2023 Milwaukee Air and Water Show.

"Never in my life did I think I'd be able to do some of the things I've done," Wilkiewicz said. "It's for a reason that I wish would never have happened. I hope it doesn't happen to anybody else."

As the detective flipped and flew over the city he has sworn to protect, his proud family watched on, including his parents, Pam and Steve, both grateful to still have their son with them.

"There's certainly no chapter in the parenting handbook for that," said Steve Wilkiewicz, talking about the day they learned his son had been shot. "You have to take it day by day."

"He is a giving person. He would do anything for anyone," Pam Wilkiewicz added. "He's always there."

Roughly 18 months after nearly losing his life, Detective Wilkiewicz says he's still recovering from his injuries, admitting there are some unknowns in the road to recovery.

"I still have my physical injuries. We're about a year-and-a-half into this thing, so I don't know if it's ever going to get better," Det. Wilkiewicz said. "Still going to keep fighting, trying and hoping that one day it does."

In the meantime, he remains grateful for the support of his family, friends, Paul Rogers and the Milwaukee Air and Water Show, the U.S. Navy and the community. He's also grateful he stayed awake and alert his entire flight.

"I didn't pass out. That was one of my biggest things," Det. Wilkiewicz said. "We were able to stay awake the whole time."

The Milwaukee Air and Water Show will take to the skies over Lake Michigan July 22 and 23.

Tickets and more information can be found here.

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