Sierra Cuesta doesn’t remember her dad at all. She’ll only ever know him through photographs and stories. When she was just 1 month old, her father, Fil Cuesta, was killed. An officer with the LAPD, Fil was shot in the back of the head as he waited in his patrol car for backup when a bullet burst through the rear window.
When Fil was killed in the line of duty, his fellow officers knew it would have a profound effect on Siesta and her older sister. They knew they couldn’t replace him, but they knew they had to be there for Fil’s family.
“We are kind of a father figure for them since Fil can’t be here,” LAPD Sgt. Don Poirier told CBS. “We lost a brother out there and it hurts. Every day I look back and wish that something like this would have never happened.”
Poirier and a few other officers made a promise that they would always be a part of the girls’ lives. That was 18 years ago and they’ve kept their word every day since. They’ve been a constant presence in Sierra’s life, but on the day of her graduation, they dropped one big bombshell of a surprise. Waiting for her in the audience, as she got her diploma, were 20 LAPD officers there to congratulate her on this marvelous milestone.
“They’re not just here for one thing, they’ve been here since I was growing up,” said Sierra. “It feels great!”
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