HENRIETTA (KFDX/KJTL) — The National Guard paid a visit to clay county today to recognize a Clay County deputy for his work.
It was just over a month ago when Deputy Breanton Chitwood’s bulletproof vest saved his life after a suspect fired at him during a routine traffic stop.
More than a month removed from a life-changing scenario Chitwood didn’t think much else would come of it.
“I wasn’t expecting anything out of the situation that happened,” Chitwood said.
But there’s been a lot of unexpected for Deputy Chitwood recently. After surviving a close-range shot to the chest during a routine traffic stop on August 16, thanks to his bulletproof vest, Chitwood is now seeing the outpouring of support from Clay County.
“The letters, the texts, the emails, the phone calls, everything has been amazing and it’s very well deserved on Deputy Chitwood’s part,” Clay County Chief Deputy Rodney Hamilton said.
It goes beyond that. With the national guard arriving in Henrietta to hand Deputy Chitwood an award recognizing his service.
“It’s really reassuring that there’s still people out there that care so it is really nice to have everyone back me on it from the administration down to my patrol,” Chitwood said.
It’s something that Chief Deputy Hamilton says hasn’t slowed down.
“Every time we’re out we have citizens asking us, you know, ‘how’s Deputy Chitwood. Is he doing good, is he doing okay?’ The national guard taking time out of what they’re doing to award the plaque is just amazing,” Hamilton said.
And word traveled fast. Sgt. Devon Lindeman with the Army National Guard knowing they wanted to do something. And being from the area, and in the position he’s in, Sgt. Lindeman recognized the importance.
“Just to know that’s the environment they go in and out of every day, it’s a scary world we live in. They’re the ones on the front lines, we’re overseas and we’re doing that, but they’re at home keeping us safe and keeping the evil out,” Lindeman said.
Not just a shiny plaque, Deputy Chitwood said these experiences help him get back to normal and continue his service.
“This is going to help me further on in my career, what to look for I guess. All in all, I’m a young officer so I hope this really does improve me in the year to come,” Chitwood said.