This daddy-daughter dance was bittersweet. Cayleigh Hinton lost her father, Illinois National Guard Sgt. Terrance Hinton. The sergeant, who served in Afghanistan and Kuwait, died in a training accident in May 2017.
The 5-year-old didn’t think she would be able to attend the dance without a father. However, Illinois National Guard 1st Sgt. Joseph Bierbrodt didn’t want her to miss out.
He stepped in for the big day, and Cayleigh was excited to be able to go, although not having her dad there was difficult. Instead, she took it as an opportunity to celebrate her father.
“This was a very special day, because we’re celebrating my dad,” Cayleigh told WBBM Chicago.
Sgt. Joseph wasn’t the only one there to support Cayleigh. Firefighters, police officers, and other Patriot Guard members all showed up as well.
“Military is a family to me,” Sgt. Joseph said. “Without a doubt, it’s an honor to be able to do something like this for another soldier.”
Despite it being a sad day, Cayleigh was able to admit that she felt good thanks to the help of her mom, who reminded her that all her dad would have wanted was her happiness.
“He always wants me to be happy,” Cayleigh said.