Many girls and women look forward to going to dances with their dads as they grow up. At those school dances, you can make a lot of good memories and spend time with your dad. But what should a girl do if she has no father? A whole group of soldiers and service members helped one little girl have a night to remember.

When Cayleigh Hinton was 4, her father died in a training accident while he was in the military. She didn’t have anyone to take her to the upcoming daddy-daughter dance at her school because her father wasn’t there. Many families look forward to this event, and her mother was worried about what to do.

So, she asked the National Guard to send someone to take her little girl to the dance. She and her late husband had talked about this moment for a long time, and she was determined to make it happen.

When First Sergeant Joseph Bierbrodt saw the request, he thought he could handle the job.
“It had to be done” from his point of view. He went into more detail by telling ABC 7 Chicago:

“I didn’t even have a real choice. I think it’s a privilege to be able to help her in this way.”

So, Sergeant Bierbrodt said yes and started making plans to give Cayleigh a very special night.

Sergeant Bierbrodt knew nothing at all about the family. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do and because he wanted Cayleigh’s night to be as special as possible.

As a father himself, he knew that if the chance came up, he would want someone to do this for his daughters. He says this to the Chicago Tribune:

“It’s a great honor for me to be able to do this. We will never forget those who have left or who don’t take care of their families.”

He also brought some gifts with him. He was a gentleman, so he made sure to bring flowers with him. He also gave his date for the night a teddy bear and a stuffed dog that his own daughters had loved.

Sergeant Bierbrodt didn’t just act alone. Everyone in the neighborhood worked together.

A limo took the couple to the dance, but a lot of service members also helped them get there. The Patriot Guard, police, and firefighters, as well as Sergeant Bierbrodt and Cayleigh, all showed up at the Our Lady of Humility School, where the dance was being held.

And Cayleigh was made to feel like a princess that night. She wore glittery shoes, a party dress, and a cape over the dress. She even had a corsage to wear with the dress.

Even with all the glitz and glamour, Cayleigh’s father was still honored.

Cayleigh took time on her special day to think about her father. He had said that one day he would take her to a daddy-daughter dance, but they never had the time. But Cayleigh’s mother, Jillian Hinton, says that their young daughter felt like he was there.

“He’s here in spirit for sure. I heard Cayleigh talking to him while she was getting ready, and I’m sure she has him with her tonight.”

They danced all night long in the school gym, and Cayleigh and Sergeant Bierbrodt have some very special memories from that night. Cayleigh made sure to dance with every officer who took her to the dance, since they were all in the military or were firefighters.