WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Serving the most vulnerable, a reflexive spirit of giving: The Good Samaritan is a story of compassion. It’s someone who stops to help even their enemy and treats them as a neighbor. 

Former FBI agent and former Ohio County Sheriff, Tom Burgoyne has been named as the 2021 Good Samaritan .

And now at 79-years-old, looking back on his life, Burgoyne spent 39 years of it fighting to get drugs off the street.  

Retired for many years, he is only now receiving the award. So why at this time?

Simply; it’s his character then and now. 

YSS CEO John Moses recalls Tom and another FBI agent volunteering at the Winter Freeze Shelter for many years where he says Tom was familiar with the faces in the room. It says a lot about a person. 

A lot of the guests that we have had here knew them from their law enforcement experience. And they’d be up all night talking, just kind of reminiscing. So, what does it say about the character of a man who has arrested you, but you find in good company?

John Moses, CEO of Youth Services System

Tom says he stopped in the hospital just this morning for a minor checkup, where his nurse even recognized his face. He says she thanked him from many years ago when she was in a car accident, and he was first to respond. 

How ironic that today I’m getting this Good Samaritan Award and she’s telling me that I stopped to help her. It’s like everything else. I’ve said it many times. People, when they go to bed at night; tomorrow what am I going to do to make this place a better place to live in and what am I going to do to elevate someone from their station in life?

Tom Burgoyne, 2021 Good Samaritan

While sheriff, Burgoyne started a program called ‘SWEAT’, aka Support Wheeling’s Effort Assisting Teens, helping kids to create a good footing for themselves. 

Burgoyne says it’s an honor to be a Good Samaritan but acknowledges there are so many more good Samaritans in this world than just him. 

The dinner honoring Burgoyne with be held on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Ticket information and details about the 2021 Good Samaritan Dinner will be released at a later date.