TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It was that relationship that inspired Marquail Jones to show his support for the fallen captain.
A picture of Jones, now becoming viral, shows him on Tuesday saluting for more than a half-hour while the procession for Captain Justin Bedwell of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office made its way into Bainbridge.
The sixth-grader from Hutto Middle School said he wanted to honor the friend he's loved for years.
"Deputy Bedwell, he used to help me with my homework, I went from an F to an A," said Jones. "I wouldn't be into law enforcement right now if it wasn't for him."
Jones, who is hoping to be a police officer thanks to Captain Bedwell, said he didn't expect this much attention for such a simple act. But, hopes his classmates can learn something from him, and Captain Bedwell.
"I think they need to show Deputy Bedwell respect, and that he had served and protect our community," said Jones.
The 20 year Decatur County Sheriff's Office veteran is also gathering support from people who didn't know him.
Pamela Simpson, who runs Simpson Realty in Bainbridge, said they put out blue ribbons in front of their office, like many other businesses in town, to show the sheriff's office and Captain Bedwell's family that they're not alone.
"We want them to know, and by showing with the ribbon here, maybe we'll show them we do support them and we're thinking of them," said Simpson.
An entire community, wrapping its arms around the ones who are hurting the most.
"Whatever they need. Whatever they need," said Simpson.