A group of police officers had just left the funeral of one of their fallen brothers and were “drained” from the week’s stress that they had to endure. After growing hungry, they decided to stop at a McDonald’s on the way back home. As they were eating, someone got right in between them all and interrupted them.
Six State Troopers from Kentucky and Ohio attended the funeral of slain Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder on Friday and decided to grab a bite to eat together after the service, reported WDRB.
“We drove all the way from Ashland, had left at 5:30 a.m. and none of us had eaten anything all day,” KSP Trooper Eric Homan said.
Homan and fellow KSP troopers Chris Lee, Joseph Boyce, and Pat Hamilton, and KSP Detective Jeff Kelley stopped at the fast food restaurant with Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Sgt. Chris Smith to decompress after a stressful day, but they never expected what would unfold while they were there. As the six officers were finishing up their meal, they were approached by a little girl, who walked right into the middle of the group with a heartfelt message.
Isabella Gregory is only 5 years old, but she understands and appreciates the hard work police do for their communities, so she wanted to do something nice for them. She and her mother, Sarah Yockey, were getting ice cream for themselves and spotted the officers walking into the restaurant. Young Isabella took it upon herself to lift their spirits by buying them all ice cream after their meal.
“We were finishing up eating and Isabella comes out of nowhere and she’s holding a tray of ice cream sundaes,” Homan recalled. “She stepped right in between us all without fear and was so proud to thank us for protecting her and her family.”
Making the extraordinary gesture even more special was the fact that Isabella did it all on her own without the help of her mother.
“She used her allowance she earned this past week to put smiles on their faces,” Yockey said Saturday. “She said, ‘Their friend died, and it’s not fair because he has a family too.’”
The group of officers took a photo with Isabella, which Homan later posted to social media with a warm thank you as a caption.
“Thanks to this fine young lady who used her allowance to treat us to ice cream today after the funeral services,” Homan wrote in the post. “We needed that! Relief comes in all different shapes and sizes … Thank you for supporting us Isabella, you are living proof of what makes coming to work every day worth it.”
Yockey also posted the picture to social media and encouraged others to do something nice for their local police.
“Today Isabella-Marie and I met some amazing men in uniform. These state troopers protect us on a day-to-day basis and risk their lives for my family and yours. The least we can do are small things such as buying them ice cream or a simple ‘Thank You.’ Their love and support for the kind act my daughter showed today is amazing. Thank you so much for putting a smile on my daughter’s face.”
As a result of Isabella’s incredible gesture, Homan said that he and his fellow officers plan on going back to their town and paying it forward to residents in their community.
“After we left Radcliff, we agreed the ball is now in our court to pay it forward as we will soon return back to work in our communities to serve the public,” he said.
As for Isabella, her mother said she forged a strong bond with the six officers, and she couldn’t be more grateful for the impact they had on her daughter. Isabella also plans on inviting all of them to her next birthday party.
“I truly can not thank them enough for the impact they had on my daughter,” Yockey said.
It had to be awesome to be a part of what happened at McDonald’s that day, especially after what the officers had just gone through. Isabella’s kind spirit and compassionate soul brought a ray of sunshine to these officers when they needed it the most, which should make her mother more than proud.
This is the type of thing we need to see more of, rather than the hatred and vitriol that’s been sweeping across the nation. Kudos to Isabella for going out of her way to show these officers her appreciation and reminding them why they put their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe.