10-year-old from Florida dedicates run to Officer Scotty Hamilton

(WYMT) - Many 10-year-olds are focused on video games or tablets, but not this kid.

His name is Zechariah Cartledge. He is doing something different.

"To honor them in the correct way and respectful way and just do what you love to honor them," said Cartledge.

This Florida 4th grade student is running for fallen officers.

"They do so much for us and when I hear an officer passes away, it just breaks my heart," explained Cartledge.

Cartledge says he felt inspired after he attended an event hosted by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

He told WYMT, the foundation aims to honor military members and first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice.

On March 13th of last year, Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton was shot and killed in the line of Duty.

When Cartledge hears about another fallen officer anywhere within the United States, he takes to his neighborhood to honor them with a run.

Flag in hand, he runs 1 mile at a time while utilizing that time to think about the officers.

Cartledge, as always, wanted to honor Officer Hamilton with a video and a dedicated run.

"I was going through Facebook one night, just laying on the couch and Officer Blankenship, Russell Blankenship shared a video," recalled Jeff Elkins.

Elkins organized an 11.1 K race in Pikeville to honor Officer Hamilton last year.

He had a few race items left-over and wanted to share them with Cartledge.

"I had a medal. I had a t-shirt and thought you know if he's going to run the mile for Scotty then he deserves Scotty's medal," explained Elkins.

Elkins says many adults should follow in Zechariah's fast footsteps.

"This 10-years-old kid gets it, just how important these men are and the sacrifices they make," Elkins pointed out.

As for Cartledge's future, he says he does not have the guts to be a police officer so he will honor them any way he can.

"I've been considering being a police officer but I don't have the bravery to be a police officer," said Cartledge.

So far he has run 54 miles since January 12th and has raised over $32,000 this year.

Elkins says he is planning another memorial race for Officer Hamilton later this year.

If you would like to keep up with Zechariah's runs, click here to visit his Facebook page.



 
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