FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- When President Kennedy stepped off Air Force One at Dallas Love Field on November 22, 1963, he was met by a cheering crowd and by a couple of Texas lawmen assigned to drive cars in the president's motorcade.
One of them was a Texas Ranger who would later become sheriff of Fort Bend County.
Milton Wright didn't expect any trouble.
Oh, yeah, it was very jovial, Wright said. A lot of cheering, clapping and that kind of thing. He was very popular.
If Secret Service agents told the Texas Rangers they were particularly worried about trouble along the motorcade route, Wright doesn't remember it.
It was just a sunny drive through Dallas... until he heard the first gunshot.
Disbelief. I really thought it was probably a big firecracker or something, Wright said.
And he has no doubt the gunfire came from the Texas School Book Depository looming over Dealey Plaza.
Wright heard the shots and unholstered his gun, but he didn't know how seriously the president had been injured until the motorcade arrived at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
His head was... a lot of it was missing, Wright recalled. The agent pulled off his coat and covered the head with his coat because it was such a gruesome sight. And then we picked him up, straight up.
He said there was no doubt that the president was dead.
It was very chilling, cold, that this could happen in the United States, he said.
Now, the retired Texas Ranger and retired sheriff keeps mementos of his decades in law enforcement.