Words of Thanks from a Grateful Sheriff

First giving thanks to God for watching over me and allowing me to fulfill my duties and responsibilities as Sheriff of Fairfield County for 22 wonderful years.

Words are not sufficient for me to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley for bestowing upon me The Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor that she can confer upon a citizen. It is with great humility and gratitude that I accept her choice in me as the recipient of this great honor.

Special thanks to Sen. Creighton Coleman, Rep. MaryGail Douglas and the Fairfield Intergovernmental Coalition for hosting a reception in my honor on Feb. 23 at The Carolina Event Center in Winnsboro, and to Mr. Leroy Smith, Director of the S.C. Department of Public Safety, who presented me with The Order of the Palmetto on behalf of Gov. Haley. I would also like to thank my pastor, the Rev. Norris Turner, for his uplifting spiritual tribute to the occasion. To Ms. Carolyn Robinson and the Fairfield County Council, thank you so much for the beautiful Resolution of appreciation and recognition for my service. I am appreciative of the support you have given me throughout the years. The musical selection, “Dear God,” rendered by Mr. Semaji Whitener, a student at Fairfield Central High School, was outstanding. All the best to you, young man, as you continue to pursue and attain excellence in your music. Thanks also to Mr. John Small, owner of The Carolina Event Center, for lending your facility to capture the wonderful memories that were made, and to the catering staff for the delicious food.

I will always remember the kind remarks that were made at the reception by Sen. Coleman; Rep. Douglas; Mr. Jarrod M. Bruder, Executive Director of the S.C. Sheriff’s Association; Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery; Ms. Michelle Dhunjishah, Director of the Foster Care Review Board; Mr. Mark Keel, Chief of the S.C. Law Enforcement Division; and Mr. Keith Lewis, Investigator for the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. I am also grateful to my colleagues and others for the heartwarming letters and well wishes that were sent.

Many thanks to the Fairfield County law enforcement officers and staff who tirelessly worked side by side with me during my tenure as Sheriff. I share the Order of the Palmetto honor with you because I could not have attained any of this without your loyalty and support. You are the best, and I am so proud of each and every one of you for your dedicated service.

To the citizens of Fairfield County, thank you for trusting me to serve as your Sheriff for all these years. Together, and with your support, you enabled me to do my best to keep our communities safe.

I want to thank all of my family and friends who came to share this momentous occasion with me, although it is not possible for me to mention each of you by name, please know that your presence meant the world to me.

And now, to my beautiful wife, Peggy, who steadfastly stood by and encouraged me every step of the way. You are my rock and I never could have done it without your love and support. Thank you and I love you. And to our wonderful children, Kecia and Michael, thanks for your love and for always being there for us. We are grateful for your families and for the beautiful grandchildren you have given Peggy and me.

I leave with a special message to our young people. I appreciate all that you do for yourselves, your families and your communities, and your efforts to make this world a better place. You are our future and I firmly believe that our future is in good hands. For those who might be struggling, I want you to know that no matter what your problems may be, you don’t have to resort to crime and violence. That is not the answer. Like some of you, I came from very humble beginnings and grew up to become Sheriff of Fairfield County. It has been an amazing journey, which culminated in my receiving the highest honor that our Governor can give. So, there is nothing you can’t achieve as long as you work toward your goals and believe in yourself. Working in law enforcement, I have seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. Believe me, the bad and the ugly are not places you want to go. It breaks my heart whenever I see any of our young people in trouble with the law. You are better than that. I urge you to listen to our parents and other adults who want only the best for you. There is always someone you can go to for help, whether it’s your parents, other relatives, teachers and counselors, ministers and other trusted adults in your communities; or yes, law enforcement. The key is to earnestly listen to what they have to say. I challenge you to build bridges that will connect you with positive outcomes throughout your life. Follow your dreams and hold fast to your dignity and respect.

Wishing you the very best in all that you do.

Sheriff Herman W. Young (Ret.)



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