When “Big A,” Sheriff of Chester County South Carolina, heard about one boy’s dream to go hunting, he responded in true sportsmen fashion.
With the media headlines focusing so much right on on the American’s outcry for racial justice, it is great to hear a story with a positive spin on things. A South Carolina sheriff, out of the good of his heart, is proving that there are still good, caring people in this world.
Sheriff Alex Underwood, of Chester County South Carolina set this heartwarming story in motion when he took to Facebook and offered to take kids on a hunting and fishing trip. He offered, to “community youth” 12 years of age and under, the chance to hunt with him and experienced chaperones.
This was all it took for a 9-year-old boy to see before he was ready to submit his application. So the boy did just that. He had his letter turned in, with the help of his single mother, to the Sheriff’s Office of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Yes, Pennsylvania. The aspiring hunter did not notice that this kind-hearted Sheriff lived several states away, in South Carolina.
And this is exactly the way we expect this heartwarming tale to begin – with an ironic twist of fate. You see, even though Sheriff Big A lived several states away, he did not let geography prevent him from helping make one little boy’s dream come true. That is just the kind of attitude that Big A has. He looked for a way to make the hunting trip not just a possibility, but a reality. This is exactly the type of attitude that our nation’s young ones need to see lived out before their very eyes.
Sheriff Big A could have used a variety of excuses to let the boy down gently. From being an out of state resident, to the increased costs associated with transportation, even down to their differences in race. Big A, however, stuck to his morals. This was not a time for excuses. This was a time to see a young man’s hopes of spending time outdoors and harvesting a trophy come to life.
Sheriff Carolyn Welsh possessed a similar determination. She was happy to raise support funds for the little boy, now being dubbed “Little A,” in efforts to get him on a plane for South Carolina. When the money arrived from donors, she gladly saw to it that Little A got to the airport and safely in the hands of the airline staff, bound for South Carolina.
Upon Little A’s arrival, the story just gets better. Sheriff Underwood took the boy on a shopping spree to a sporting goods store and outfitted him with camouflage and hunting gear (much of the money for these items came from the Sheriff’s own pocket). Then it was off to Big A’s secret spot in Chester County. Little A had to promise not to tell anyone the location of Big A’s secret spot.
Next it was time for a lesson on hunter’s safety. The Sheriff, certainly sensing the boy’s excitement of being behind a firearm, taught Little A how check for the safety, point the barrel in safe direction, and other vital instructions. Little A not only received instruction, he was receiving something far more valuable: time spent outdoors with a role model.
Finally the time arrived that Little A had waited for, days that passed like an eternity for a 9-year-old, and they were off to go hunting. Although the duo were unable to bring home a trophy that day, they will cherish the memories of that trip for an eternity.
During such a pivotal time in our country, it is great to know there are still men and women like Big A and Sheriff Welsh who are helping mold young children into caring, responsible adults. Little A is likely to hold this hunting trip near and dear to his heart for the rest of his life. What’s more, he’ll never forget the generosity of Sheriff Underwood. A man of different skin color yes, but that’s no matter. He’s a man of morals, dedication, and the resolve to make the world we live in a little better, one hunting trip at a time.
I tip my cap to Sheriff Alex Underwood. As law enforcement officials and first responders all over the country are being harassed for their seemingly acts of racism, I applaud Big A and the men and women all over the country who treat all people, regardless of race, with dignity and respect.