'Fathers in blue' surprise bride with special wedding dance
A wedding is one of the most memorable days in many people's lives, and it can be an extra special moment when a father walks his little girl down the aisle.
That wasn't possible for Gallia County bride, Mikayla Wroten. Mikayla's dad, David Poling, died in the line of duty 10 years ago.
He was serving as a probation officer with the Gallipolis Municipal Court and drowned while chasing a suspect into the Ohio River.
"I remember Mom telling us, sitting us down and told us that he wasn't with us anymore and it was really one of those things like dad's not gone, he's just gone for the night and I think it was a couple weeks later that it actually set in that he was gone and he wasn't coming back," Mikayla said.
She was nine at the time while her younger sister, Faith, was four.
Mikayla knew she wouldn't be able to share a father daughter dance with her dad, but some of his closest friends and colleagues wanted to make sure she still had her special moment.
"We wanted to be able to give her on her wedding day, the little piece of Dave that couldn't be there, that each of us carry's with us every day," Sheriff Matt Champlin said.
Champlin says Sgt. Adam Holcomb of the Gallipolis Police Department came up with the idea and helped to orchestrate it.
"Then we kind of did just a bunch of scheming behind Mikayla's back," Champlin joked.
Several officers dressed in uniform, took turns dancing with Mikayla during a "father-daughter" dance.
"Even though I do have a great stepdad now in my life, he wasn't there you know, my dad wasn't there to dance with me and it was something that was heart touching for me and I remember just looking around and taking it all in," Mikayla said.
Mikayla described a moment at the end of the night when she found a gold button from one of the uniforms.
"I remember I took it out there to (trooper) Marvin Pullins and I said, 'here Marv,' and he said, 'well that ain't mine but it's yours now,' and it was just one of those little God winks," Mikayla said.
Mikayla and her husband, Dakota, have known each other since they were four and five.
He is following his father-in-law into law enforcement as a Gallia County deputy.
"I saw that man impact more people in life and death than most ever will in an entire lifetime and that's kind of my goal, to affect someone the way he did me," Dakota said.