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Running 4 Heroes

Running 4 Heroes

A national non-profit organization that recognizes injured and fallen first responders has awarded a $10,000 grant to retired Kernersville Police Officer Sean Houle.
Houle was severely wounded in the line of duty after being shot with his own weapon by a suspect during a struggle in the early morning hours of February 21, 2021. After weeks in the hospital and months of recovery that included numerous surgeries, Houle retired from the Kernersville Police Department (KPD) last December. Today, Houle works as a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
Running 4 Heroes, Inc. announced Thursday that Houle is the May 2022 recipient of the organization’s Injured First Responder Grant after Houle was nominated for the award.
“The Running 4 Heroes organization continues to keep K9 Officer II Sean Houle in our prayers, and we are honored to announce that Officer Houle has been selected as our May 2022 recipient of our $10,000 Injured First Responder Grant,” noted a social media post announcing Houle’s selection.
The announcement also noted, “On February 21st, 2021, K9 Officer II Sean Houle of the Kernersville Police Department in North Carolina was giving someone a ride home when he encountered a man that he had dealt with earlier in the evening during a traffic stop. A struggle ensued, and the suspect managed to get ahold of Officer Houle’s gun and shot him with it, hitting him in the face, arm, and hand.
“The incident left Officer Houle in Critical condition, and since the incident, he has undergone multiple surgeries, including the removal of the bullet, reconstruction surgeries and a multitude of therapy sessions. The type of injuries he sustained was deemed a “unicorn style” injury, and that the projection of the bullet caused a rare style of injury. Because of the injury, Officer Houle was forced to medically retire, though he is working on becoming a chaplain for his agency and using his testimony to inspire and encourage others. His K9 Jax was also able to retire with him and will be able to remain by his handler’s side as he continues to recover.”
Houle has spoken often about his experience, crediting God, his fellow first responders and the doctors and nurses who treated him that night for saving his life, in what can only be described as a miraculous recovery considering his injuries were so severe.
“I truly, honestly believed that was it. I closed my eyes and I saw my wife and two boys. It was like I could reach out and touch them,” Houle told the Kernersville News during a May 2021 interview. “If there’s a person out there that has a doubt about God, about prayer, read about me. God definitely had His hand on me that night.”
Houle continued.
“Everyone, Forsyth County EMS, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the officers I work with on my squad and the dispatcher, they basically had to be perfect that night and they were. They responded with urgency and in record time. They got me to the hospital where the doctors could treat me,” Houle said. “It had to be perfect. God made us all human. We’re not perfect, but that night, He had his hand on me and everyone else to do their jobs and work on me perfectly.”
According to the Running 4 Heroes website, the organization “started with a kid, an appreciation for our First Responders, and a mission to raise awareness and funds for those fallen in the line of duty.”
“Zechariah Cartledge was born with the gift of running. He was raised with an appreciation for First Responders and all they do for the community. As he grew older, Zechariah decided to help the families of our fallen First Responders in a meaningful way. Encouraged by the mission and vision of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Zechariah began his journey raising funds for those families by running,” the website notes. “In 2019, Running 4 Heroes officially became a non-profit 501(c)(3). Zechariah runs one mile for every First Responder who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. He wants to honor those who gave up their life so we may live in a better world.”
With Houle’s grant award, Running 4 Heroes stated that the organization has now been able to award $277,500 in funding to a combined 32 heroes who have been injured in the line of duty since January 2020.
Running 4 Heroes also posted that Zechariah, 13, and his father, Chad Cartledge, CEO of the organization, will be in North Carolina in early June to present Houle with his grant award. They are also working closely with the KPD on coordinating a location where Zechariah can do a one-mile run in support of North Carolina first responders.
“We are excited to return to North Carolina, and we ask everyone to continue to keep the recovery of Officer Houle in your thoughts and prayers,” Running 4 Heroes concluded.

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