Many young girls take part in the endearing tradition of attending daddy-daughter dances with their fathers, creating core memories and bonding with their dads at the same time.
Though, not every little girl is lucky enough to have their father with them.
In fact, for this sweet little girl, attending a dance was important to her. The only problem was she sadly no longer had her dad with her…
Young Cayleigh Hinton was barely four years old when her loving father tragically lost his life in an accident during military training. This meant that little Cayleigh was fast growing up and experiencing special life moments without her father present – including a daddy-daughter dance.
At the time, Cayleigh’s mother was worried about what she’d do – she didn’t want her little girl to miss out on such an important moment, especially because Cayleigh’s mother and late father had talked about this exact moment before he died. Not sure what to do, she put out a request to have someone from the National Guard accompany her daughter to the dance.
When First Sergeant Joseph Bierbrodt saw the request, he felt compelled to accompany Cayleigh. He later told ABC 7 Chicago: “It had to be done,” adding that “It wasn’t even really a choice for me. I view it as an honor to be able to do this for her.”
Sergeant Bierbrodt accepted the request and started on some pretty special plans to make the evening one Cayleigh would remember for years to come. Although he didn’t know the family at all, he felt it was the right thing for him to do – especially because he has children of his own.
“I consider it a huge honor to be able to do this. We never forget the ones who have left, or leave their families unattended,” Sergeant Bierbrodt told the Chicago Tribune, via Today.
Ever the gentleman, Sergeant Bierbrodt arrived to Cayleigh’s home with a bouquet of flowers, a teddy bear, and a little stuffed dog that his own daughters had cherished. But he wasn’t acting alone, as a whole community of people were working together behind the scenes to make the evening super exciting.
A bunch of service members got together to escort Cayleigh and Sergeant Bierbrodt (who arrived in a limo) to the dance at the Our Lady of Humility School, where the dance was held.
The Patriot Guard, police, and firefighters were also in attendance for the little girl, who got the full princess treatment – she dressed up in her prettiest party dress, sparkly shoes, and even sported a corsage.
Even though the evening would have been the most special with her father present, it’s so heartwarming to see how many people banded together to show Cayleigh just how loved she is.