Soldier Treats Little Girl To A Daddy-Daughter School Dance After She Lost Her Dad

Five-year-old Cayleigh Hinton had just celebrated her fifth birthday when the family received news that her dad, Army Sgt. Terrence Hinton had died in a military truck crash in Hawaii. He was 36 at the time. Before his accident, Terrence had served in Afghanistan and Iraq before dying in the truck accident in Oahu, Hawaii.

The truck driver, a 20-year-old soldier, lost control of the tractor-trailer truck hauling heavy equipment that flipped over and crashed. It struck a guardrail and flipped into a culvert. Terrence sat in the passenger seat and was killed in the wreck. The situation was a nightmare, especially for his wife, Jillian Hinton.

“It was so shocking. For him to do two tours and then to pass away in paradise was just mind-blowing,” Jillian told Today. “We’re now in our ninth month, and part of me still feels like he’s on a deployment. Each day that goes by, the finality of it gets so much bigger.”

The family moved to Winthrop Harbor in October after Terrence’s death, and Cayleigh changed schools to Our Lady of Humility School in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. Thankfully, the teachers understood the situation and made her feel comfortable. However, a challenge needed to be overcome for Cayleigh’s sake.

Terrence had promised his daughter before he passed that he would take her to the daddy-daughter dance, but since he was gone, there was no one to stand in for him. So, Jillian sent a mail to the Illinois National Guard asking if anyone would volunteer to take Cayleigh to the dance on Feb. 7, 2018. What happened next was magical, and it warmed everyone’s hearts. Keep reading for the details.

When Sgt. Joseph Bierbrodt, 48, of the Illinois Army National Guard saw the mail; he knew he needed to make the night special for the little girl. So, he volunteered right away, even though he had never met the family. Bierbrodt was a father of four with two daughters aged 27 and 16, and he thought that anyone in the military would do the same for his family if something happened to him.

An excited Bierbrodt showed up at Cayleigh’s house in his military uniform and asked if she would be his date. After she accepted his request, he presented her with a bouquet and a corsage. He also gave her a stuffed dog that used to belong to his daughters.

“It wasn’t even really a choice for me. I view it as an honor to be able to do this for her,” he told ABC 7 Chicago.

To make the night even more surreal, Bierbrodt took Cayleigh to school in a limousine escorted by a veterans’ motorcycle club procession and members of area police and fire departments. The soldier and the little girl danced and twirled that night, and she even stood on his toes to do the dance she had rehearsed perfectly.

“I’m very good at it,” she told ABC 7 Chicago.

Cayleigh and Bierbrodt were not the only ones thrilled with how everything turned out. Jillian told the outlet she was glad about how the day went. She believed her late husband was there as she heard Cayleigh talk to him.

Meanwhile, Bierbrodt plans to keep in touch with Cayliegh and even plans to make honorary camouflage uniforms for her.

“The military is a family,” he told Today. “We stick together.”

What do you think of Sgt. Joseph Bierbrodt’s actions? Do you have any experience of someone stepping in to save the day for a daddy-daughter dance? Let us know — and be sure to pass this on to friends and family.

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