Officer Houle comes home

Kernersville Police Officer Sean Houle has been reunited with his two young sons and wife, Ellie, in the family’s home after the wounded officer was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Tucker, 4, and Tanner, 10 months, weren’t the only ones welcoming their dad home. Another important member of the Houle family there to greet Office Houle was his K-9 partner, Jax. Photographs captured the moment the two were reunited.
Houle, who was critically injured after being shot in the line of duty on February 21, departed Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center amid an escort that included not only the Kernersville Police Department, but law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency responders from throughout the area.
The entourage made its way west on Interstate 40, north on U.S. Hwy. 52 and then up Germanton Road, greeted along the way with cheers atop overpasses and salutes along the roadway. Houle waved back with a smile on his face.
Houle’s father, Dennis, expressed amazement at the strength of the response, as well as appreciation and gratitude for all the support Officer Houle and the family has received over the last three weeks.
Dennis Houle had high praise for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and all the doctors and staff there who cared for his son, but said that all along, one of his son’s main focuses has been getting home.
“That’s what he has been saying, that he wanted to be home with his two boys and his wife,” Dennis said on Wednesday. “That was a big thing for him. Now, he’s healing at home. It was huge to get him home.”
Dennis continued.
“The family can’t say enough about the care he received. Baptist is incredible. The hospital, the doctors and all the staff, they’re all incredible, but someone always heals better if you can get them home.”
Dennis said Tuesday was emotional, but in a good way. He also added about seeing the size of the escort, “that was incredible.”
“It was an extremely emotional day. It was all just good,” Dennis said.
According to Dennis, Officer Houle will undergo another surgery in mid-April. For now, he needs to regain his strength.
“He’s got good spirits, the energy and the motivation,” Dennis said. “He’s determined.”
Dennis once again thanked the community for the outpouring of support for Officer Houle.
“Please, keep them coming. We can’t express that enough. He sees that and he is extremely grateful. The family is extremely grateful,” Dennis noted.
Kernersville Police Chief Tim Summers drove Officer Houle home from the hospital in his police vehicle, with lights on and breathing a little easier than he had in weeks, for sure.
“It’s truly a miracle. He was hurt very badly,” Summers said of Houle, who was shot in his hand and face during an altercation with a suspect involved in a traffic stop. “To see the progress he’s made is truly a miracle.”
The family bond between not only law enforcement officers, but all those who work in emergency response, has been evident throughout Houle’s recovery process.
“We always say we are a family, and sometimes we bicker and argue like families do, but when something like this happens, it shows how we all pull together,” Summers said.
Summers said it would be impossible to thank everyone who has supported Houle and his family, as well as the Kernersville Police Department, the last few weeks, but he did want to acknowledge the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, Jr. for manning the department’s calls on Tuesday so Summers’ staff could participate in and be there to greet Houle when he arrived home.
“We have been blessed at every turn,” Summers said. “I am one of the luckiest chiefs in the world.”
Summers also expressed his own gratitude at being able to see Houle return home.
“He’s got a long way to go, but we got him home today,” Summers said. “Now we just need him to get better and back on the job.”

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