A girl bought troopers ice cream Friday evening following the funeral of slain Kentucky State Police trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder. A photo of the girl with the troopers has gone viral.
Sarah Yockey of Elizabethtown, Ky., and her daughter Isabella Gregory, 5, had stopped for ice cream at the McDonald's near the Radcliff Police Department when the little girl saw six Kentucky troopers along with an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. Isabella told her mother she wanted to treat them to ice cream.
"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.'"
Trooper Eric Homan told WDRB News that he and fellow KSP troopers Tony Duncan, Chris Lee, Joseph Boyce, and Pat Hamilton, KSP detective Jeff Kelley, and Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Sgt. Chris Smith had stopped to get something to eat and to decompress after the funeral around 6:15 p.m.
"We drove all the way from Ashland, had left at 5:30 a.m. and none of us had eaten anything all day," Homan said. "We were finishing up eating and Isabella comes out of nowhere and she's holding a tray of ice cream sundaes. She stepped right in between us all without fear and was so proud to thank us for protecting her and her family.
"It was a long day, and after a long week we were physically and emotionally drained," he said. "Her gifts of ice cream and her words of encouragement was more than a treat for our stomachs. It lifted our spirits."
The group took a picture, which was shared on social media late Friday night by Yockey and the troopers. (KSP Trooper Duncan was not shown in the picture).