The Mission Of A Florida Boy Is Being Felt In Mississippi As He Honors Fallen Deputy

CHICKASAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Running for heroes.

That’s what Ten year old Zechariah Cartledge does every time a law enforcement officer or firefighter dies in the line of duty.

“My main goal is to make those families and departments have a little bit of happiness through this hard time,” said Cartledge, of Orlando, Florida.

Cartledge made a pledge two years ago to run one mile for every first responder while serving and protecting their community.

When he runs, he also carries the thin blue line flag along with him.

The 5th grader said it’s his way of letting the families and communities know they’re not alone.

“I hope to heal through my run,” said Cartledge. “I always find out about all the officers that passed away in the line of duty that I run for on a page called Officer Down Memorial Page. Every time an officer is lost in the line of duty, or passed away, they will update their page. Every time they update their page I know I have to run for another officer.”

Despite not knowing the officers, the 10-year-old said they made the ultimate sacrifice for their community and this is his way to thank them for their service.

“When I’m doing my one mile in honor of them, I just think about how the family is going through a hard time, and I hope that if they watch that video that they will heal in at least just the slightest bit,” Cartledge expressed.

This weekend Cartledge’s mission will be felt in Mississippi when he honors Chickasaw County Deputy Jeremy Voyles.

Voyles tragically lost his life while on duty.

The Chickasaw County Deputy, was working with the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit when the car he was riding in crashed Tuesday evening.

Voyles was a passenger in the vehicle.

“For a 10-year-old to just have that mentality to say, I want to do something in support of somebody he totally does not know, it’s just amazing,” said Brooke Paden, who’s the wife of a Chickasaw County Deputy. “There’s not enough people like that in the world.”

Paden and other residents felt inspired by Cartledge’s thoughtful act and decided he won’t be alone.

They’re also going to do a one mile run in Houston at the same time he’s doing his in Florida.

Cartledge knows the community is still hurting, but hopes this small act will help start the healing.

“If you’re a part of that family, I just want you to know that he was a true hero,” said Cartledge. “Even though he passed away, he risked his life and dedicated his life to protect the citizens of Chickasaw County.”

Thursday evening, the Houston Fire Department ran one mile in honor of Voyles.

Friday’s run will begin at 6 o’clock P.M. on the Town square in Houston.

Anyone and everyone is encouraged to come out to help the community remember and honor deputy Jeremy Voyles.

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