AMARILLO, Texas-- It's a time of many heartbreaking firsts. Earlier this week, the Scherlen family of Texas had a very emotional first: It was the first time their dad wouldn't be there to see them go back to school.
Their father, Justin Scherlen, who was a police officer with the Amarillo Police Department, died two weeks ago after complications from an on-duty crash, according to KVII.
So, when it came time for the first day of school, dozens of Amarillo police officers surprised the kids by escorting them to school; they also lined up to give hugs.
The Amarillo Independent School District took video of the beautiful moment where four-year-old Jackson hugged each and every officer. They shared that video with us. You can watch it above. They also shared the touching photos that you see in this story.
The school tweeted out that the officers were an "army of stand-ins for this important first."
Officer Daniel Smith told KVII, "I'd give it all back just to have Justin here with his son."
Jessica Scherlen said she thought Justin "would be very proud of how his brothers and sisters have stepped up to be here for his kids."
— Amarillo ISD (@AmarilloISD) August 22, 2016