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CCSO detective thanks HES 1st-grader for kindness

Published Friday, June 8, 2018

Aiden Wright photos

Pictured above, from left to right, are Aiden Wright with his patch, gift card and challenge coin and Aiden with Detective Will Murheid and HES teacher Mrs. Emily Spitzmiller. (Provided)

“Thank you for your service.” – It’s what Hanahan Elementary School’s Aiden Wright told Detective Will Muirheid several days during the school year when he passed him in the hallway.

The 7-year-old crossed paths with the Charleston County officer nearly every morning of the school year – Aiden off to another day of learning and Detective Muirheid dropping his kids off before a day of investigating violent crime.

At the end of May, Aiden found out how much his words meant to the officer who has dedicated his life to the safety and security of others.

Detective Muirheid wrote Aiden a note and with it included a CCSO patch, challenge coin and $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. It was a note that gave teachers and administrators pride as the officer shared the importance of Aiden’s words on the worst of days.

“On more than one occasion you have looked me in the eyes and told me, ‘thank you for your service.’ I cannot express in words how much it meant to me to hear you say that, and the manner in which you do is extremely genuine. I started this job a long time ago with one mission in mind – help those that needed help,” Detective Muirheid wrote.

Detective Muirheid explained to Aiden that the patch he selected was one from a uniform that responded to many calls for service – “most that ended favorably but some that did not.”

“This patch is a symbol to me, showing that regardless of our calling in life it is our duty to do the best we can, whatever we do, and along the way we may fade and stitching may snag, but we must continue to move forward,” Detective Muirheid wrote.

Just like the patch, the challenge coin gifted to Aiden also had a story. It was a coin used to honor a time Detective Muirheid helped someone. In passing the challenge coin to the first-grader, Detective Muirheid shared what he described as one of the greatest honors passed among members of law enforcement.

When Aiden’s teacher learned of the letter, she wanted to share the experience with the class. When Detective Muirheid thanked Aided face-to-face days later, Mrs. Emily Spitzmiller said it was a “positive, inspiring learning experience.”

“It allowed for us to learn more about the power of kindness, and we were able to discuss various ways we can do this in our daily lives,” she said. “The best part was having Aiden share his personal experiences, because it allowed him to be a leader and pour into his classmates just like he was able to pour into Detective Muirheid.”

Mrs. Spitzmiller said it wasn’t just a lesson for the children in the classroom. She found herself fighting tears as she felt pride in her student and blessed to have been a part of the moment. She admitted there was value in the exchange for teachers and administrators.

“This may have been a learning lesson for Aiden, but it also taught me a valuable lesson not only of the power of kindness, but reassuring my students that even they can have the biggest impacts on others and their lives, no matter how small,” she said.


Brian Troutman