Running for Heroes

The young boy who founded a national non-profit organization recognizing injured and fallen first responders was in Town this past weekend to present a special grant to retired Kernersville Police Officer Sean Houle.
Zechariah Cartledge, 13, of Running 4 Heroes, met Houle at Town Hall early Saturday morning, June 18, to present Houle with a check for $10,000 as the organization’s May 2022 grant recipient. Those attending the presentation included members of the Kernersville Police Department (KPD), as well as KPD Chief Tim Summers and Houle’s family members.
“We run a mile for every police officer or firefighter who passes away in the line of duty. We also give $10,000 checks to first responders. That’s the reason we’re talking right now,” Cartledge told those who attended the Saturday morning presentation and subsequent run. “As many of you know, back on February 21, 2021, K9 Officer II Sean Houle was escorting someone home when he encountered a suspect he dealt with earlier on a traffic stop.”
Cartledge continued.
“Upon encountering the suspect, they had a short fight and, unfortunately, the suspect was able to get a hold of Officer Houle’s gun. After that, he shot him in the face, arm and hand, and because of the injuries, he had to undergo many surgeries at a time and afterward, he was in critical condition,” Cartledge noted.
Cartledge said that Houle’s surgeries included removing the bullet that struck him, as well as numerous reconstructive procedures, followed by physical therapy.
“From what I know, his injury was a very rare type of injury, called a unicorn-style injury, so a very rare type of injury and because of that, he had to medically retire,” Cartledge recounted.
Cartledge said that Houle’s injury has not stopped him from continuing to work with the KPD in a community way. He noted that he was especially impressed that Houle’s new path has him working to become a chaplain and that he has been inspired by Houle’s journey.
“I’m inspired by what you’re doing. I’m inspired by your continuous fight through your injuries. I know you’ve had many surgeries ever since the incident happened, so I wish you well. I hope you become a chaplain soon,” Cartledge said.
Carledge asked Houle if he was a chaplain yet, to which Houle replied that he is a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
“We travel around the county to manmade and natural disasters and minister to the folks going through things,” Houle explained. “It could be local. It could be far away.”
After the presentation, Cartledge ran from Town Hall, located at 134 East Mountain Street, to Kernersville Elementary School, at 512 West Mountain Street, in honor of Bethany Firefighter Brandon Yaeger, who died in the line of duty last month.
Houle thanked everyone who came out on Saturday on the Houle Strong Facebook page.
“Thank you so much everyone! What a special day! Thank you for your love and support of all first responders! I feel truly blessed and am so happy that Brandon was able to be honored! Love you all!” Houle posted.

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