Daughter of Slain Kissimmee Police Sergeant Gets One Emotional Birthday Surprise
Get out the tissues, y'all.
Two days before her 17th birthday, Unique Howard lost her father. Sergeant Roger "Sam" Howard was one of two Kissimmee police officers who were shot and killed in a senseless act of violence on Friday.
Despite her grief, when her birthday rolled around on Monday, Unique showed up for work at the Publix grocery store in St. Cloud.
“She’s a very strong young lady,” Kissimmee Police spokeswoman, Stacie Miller, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Unique had no idea that her father’s fellow officers had no intention of letting her celebrate her birthday alone. When they arrived at the family’s home to surprise her and found she had gone to work, the officers changed course and headed to Publix. When dozens of law-enforcement officers and civilians interrupted her shift Unique couldn’t help but cry.
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A video shared by Osceola County Sheriff's Office on Facebook captured the emotional moment when the group presented her with a birthday cake and sang her “Happy Birthday.” Kissimmee Police Lt. James Napier also gave Unique a law enforcement officer memorial coin and a thin blue line bracelet, symbolic of an officer who has died.
"From now and forever, you don't stand alone, you don't suffer alone, you're never alone because all of these people are here for you and here to protect you," Napier told her, gesturing towards the crowd.
Now that’s community.