CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Law enforcement from across the Grand Strand, Pee Dee and the state took a trip to Florence on Thursday to pay their respects to a fallen brother.
The life of Florence Regional Airport Officer Jackson Winkeler was celebrated in front of hundreds on Jan. 9, a day that is also dedicated to thanking those in law enforcement.
“It just so happens that the service fell on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day," said Horry County Sheriff Phillip E. Thompson.
Those close to Winkeler said he wanted nothing more than to serve his community.
“They’re all putting their lives on the line for us," said Lou Mascherino, owner of the Veterans Cafe in Socastee. "We need to appreciate that, we need to thank them and we need to pray for them.”
The funeral service for Winkeler is a reminder of the sacrifices many in uniform make when they take an oath to protect and serve.
“Our police officers and our law enforcement are in harm’s way every day. And we just need to let them know that we appreciate it," Mascherino said.
“The reason that we do this is to protect and to serve and do what we can to make our communities feel safe," Thompson said.
Thompson said he believes there was a representative from each county in the state at Winkeler’s funeral.