Heroes Among Us

Actions

A unique friendship between a deputy and a teen helped him find his purpose

"You have to be a part of your community. Not apart from your community.”
thumbnail_IMG_6122.jpg
Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 05:57:00-05

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. — Growing up, DeAmorti "D" Washington always knew he wanted to take a path leading to success. But the 22-year-old never knew which road to choose — until recently.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” said DeAmorti. “Sometimes you just have to take that chance. You never know it can be the step that can change your life.”

DeAmorti can trace the beginnings of his road map to a chance meeting six years ago. When he was a 16-year-old, he met a member of law enforcement that would help him with direction.

Lt. Travis Nutter said he recognized DeAmorti’s potential when the teen entered Caroline County High School.

thumbnail_Screenshot 2022-02-14 at 10.06.45 AM.png

“He is real. He is a genuine person,” said DeAmorti.

“We connected kind of. It was as if he trusted me or talked to me more than most freshmen in high school would,” said Travis.

With the permission from mom Phyllis Wilson, Travis promised DeAmorti he would stay in touch. Since 2016, Travis has kept his end of the deal.

“We talk all of the time,” said DeAmorti. “He is just telling me how proud he is of me. That makes me feel good. For real. For real. Honestly.”

The veteran law enforcement officer would text and call DeAmorti weekly, offering support and advice.

“In this situation, I am unbelievably proud of D. I really am,” said Travis. “He wants to serve in some capacity. He wants to help. He wants to help society. You have to be a part of your community. Not apart from your community.”

The mentor’s words of encouragement were not lost on DeAmorti.

thumbnail_IMG_6116.jpg

“He did everything good for me honestly,” said DeAmorti. “He is a family man himself. He has a very good heart. I respect him. I got a lot of respect for him.”

A few months ago DeAmorti realized a dream by enlisting in the U.S. Army — following his grandfather, who served 27 years in the military.

“I’m a born leader," said DeAmorti. “I feel like I am a soldier. Might as well make it my job.”

DeAmorti, who is a new father, said the decision to join the armed forces was made easier thanks to the guidance from Travis, who also served with the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Honestly, I’ve been wanting to join for a while. I just didn’t have that push,” he said.

A grateful mom said her son’s mentor went above and beyond his call of duty as an officer.

“You all don’t know how much he has helped my son,” said Phyllis. “The world needs to see that police officers are not bad guys. They’re not out here just to make an arrest, and this is a prime example.”

Travis said he bursts knowing his young friend is on a path to success.

thumbnail_IMG_6118.jpg

“I don’t feel like I am deserving of any recognition. Honestly, I feel like the credit goes to Mom,” said DeAmorti.

“For him to stand there and say ‘It was nothing’ shows his modesty, but to me it meant the world. It meant the world to me it really did,” said Phyllis.

With DeAmorti leaving for the U.S. Army, the distance between the pair of friends will no doubt grow wider. But the bond they share will only strengthen with time.

“He is not a stranger, but you’re not very close but this made us closer,” said DeAmorti “It means a lot. I am very appreciative.”

DeAmorti left for basic training on Valentine’s Day.

Travis said if DeAmorti does not make a career out of the military, he expects him to apply for a job at the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office.

If you know someone who is a “Hero Among Us” email me at heroes@wtvr.com

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.

Find unique, award-winning stories every day on CBS 6 News:

💰Mondays: CBS 6 Gives
📁Tuesdays: CBS 6 Problem Solvers Investigations
🏙️ Wednesdays: Our RVA
👔Wednesdays: Wayne's World
🏅Thursdays: Beyond the Roster
🏅Thursdays: Beyond the Roster
✋Fridays: I Have a Story