GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville Police Officer Rami Kouzeili has gone through an incredible journey to now patrolling streets downtown.

He was born in Lebanon in 1981 during a civil war that plagued the country from 1975 to 1990.

“I was born in the middle of the war. And my mom’s family was massacred,” Kouzeili said. “I lived most of my childhood in the shelter. And I kind of developed a sense of justice during that because I saw so much injustice.”

His father managed to get Rami out of Lebanon at the age of 21. He received his schooling in Switzerland and five years later, he was working and managing at hotels and five-star resorts in the United States.

Then Kouzeili switched careers, in his mid-thirties, without forgetting what he learned in the hospitality industry.

I think it gives you a perspective,” the officer told 7NEWS. “You see a lot in the food industry where people are more self-centered. When you come to the police and people are not really self-centered, they really need you.”

It’s an amazing story of success for Kouzeili who can still recall living in a shelter as a child.

“I remember actually, when there was a little bit of electricity, watching Lassie,” Kouzeili said. “That was an American show about a dog, and they had grass around their house and a dog. I made a promise to myself to one day come to America and have a dog or Lassie, have grass around my house and by God’s grace, I made it.”I don’t have Lassie,” the officer tells us, “(but) there’s grass around my house.”