It’s no secret that being a police officer is a tough job, especially considering that, these days, men and women in blue don’t have the level of public support that they used to have. Just the same, there are plenty of brave young people who are willing to face the pressure and the danger that comes with the job in order to fulfill their dreams of protecting the public.
Take the case of 9-year-old Noah Smiley. This isn’t just a little kid with an endearing last name; he is actually making headlines for making a generous contribution to a Lakeland, Florida police officer.
You see, Noah and his mother were eating breakfast at their local Denny’s one morning last spring when the boy spotted Officer Benitez finishing up his meal. Suddenly, the little guy looked over at his mother and asked her a very important question.
Officer Benitez remembers the sweet event to a “T”. In an interview with local news station WTSP 10, the cop gives readers a play-by-play of what went down that special morning.
“I was there, eating my breakfast, and all of a sudden, I see this little gentleman walking towards me; I was just thinking he was coming down to say ‘hi’,” the officer says. “He hands me the tab, you know, and I look at him and I look up the tab, and I’m like, wait a minute.”
That’s right, the grade schooler had come over to let Officer Benitez know that he had already covered the tab—with a birthday money advance from his mom, no less! How many 9-year-olds do you know would re-gift their hard-earned b-day cash to a complete stranger?!
But, it gets even better. On the top of the receipt, Noah left the shocked officer a note that read:
‘I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for your service.—Noah Smiling’
Understandably, Officer Benitez was so affected by this boy’s gesture that he keeps the receipt in the pocket of his uniform at all times. Not only does the note remind him of Noah’s altruism, it also serves as an important mantra, of sorts.
“It meant everything. It meant that I’m supposed to wake up every morning and put on this uniform and go out there and do what I do,” the officer explains. “It means that I need to keep trying to be a good example to all of these young guys.”
We’re so happy to hear that Officer Benitez has this token of support that he can carry with him throughout his most difficult of times on the job. And have you ever heard of a more precious guy than Noah? We just know that he will be a GREAT policeman one day. You go, kiddo!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this sweet story. Are you a police officer who has a similar story? How do you honor your local men and women in blue? Are you a parent to a child who wants to grow up to be a cop?