Heartwarming photo shows little boy jumping into Fourth of July parade to tie officer's shoelace

Police in Arlington, Texas are awarding a young boy a "Chief Challenge Coin" for helping an Honor Guard tie his shoelace during the Fourth of July Parade. (Photo: Wendy Collins Smith)
Police in Arlington, Texas are awarding a young boy a "Chief Challenge Coin" for helping an Honor Guard tie his shoelace during the Fourth of July Parade. (Photo: Wendy Collins Smith)

A kid hopped into a Fourth of July parade to help an Honor Guard tie his shoelaces in a viral moment that’s awarded him a police medal.

During Thursday’s Fourth of July festivities in Arlington, Texas, a two-mile march downtown, Officer Jarrick Wilson saw that his shoelace was untied. The DWI enforcement unit officer who works nights signaled the other guards to slow down and while the group was deciding how to juggle their American flags or rifle, a boy named Josh raced over to help.

A spectator named Wendy Collins Smith snapped a photo and posted it on social media. “We need more of his type in the world!” she wrote about the boy’s patriotism.

Chief Will Johnson of the Arlington Police Department tweeted the photo writing, “Thank you Josh! We should all be so kind. I have a Chief Challenge coin for you.”

Lieutenant Christopher Cook tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the “Chief Challenge Coin” is an honorary coin given to officers who perform kind acts. “We started the tradition in 2014 and redesign the coin each year,” he says.

The officers were in a tricky spot because two held shotguns and three carried flags, so Wilson couldn’t exactly pass his off — according to the United States Code, the flag cannot touch the ground or be carried horizontally.

Fortunately, Josh jumped into the parade, kneeling down to help out the guard.

”Y’all just don’t know how he helped me out today lol.. Happy 4th of July,” Wilson wrote on Facebook, later adding, “Sometimes Officers need help from the community as well! Thanks again, Josh.”

A Texas boy will receive a "Chief Challenge Coin" from the Arlington Police Department for helping an Honor Guard tie his shoelace during the Fourth of July parade. (Photo: Twitter/ArlingtonChief)
A Texas boy will receive a "Chief Challenge Coin" from the Arlington Police Department for helping an Honor Guard tie his shoelace during the Fourth of July parade. (Photo: Twitter/ArlingtonChief)

Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach Josh’s family for comment. His grandfather, Dr. Dennis Wiles with First Baptist Church of Arlington, shared Smith’s photo on Facebook. “Sometimes the police need an assist from the community...Way to go, Josh!”

The boy will receive his coin from the police department this week. “We’ve never had this happen,” Cook tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Next year, officers will double, then triple-check their shoelaces.”

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