A week before he was set to graduate high school, Kazzie Portie received devastating news.
His parents, Riley and Emily Portie, had been killed when their motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver. Eric Ellison was the officer assigned to notify the next of kin.
Posted by Emily Deanne Hinote Portie on Sunday, January 6, 2013
The 18-year-old, who is one of five children, was home alone when Officer Ellison arrived on his doorstep. After digesting the news, Portie expressed concern about his upcoming graduation from Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School in Orange, Texas.
“I said, ‘You are going to walk!’” Ellison told BuzzFeed News about their initial interaction. “Your mom and dad will have front-row seats looking down from heaven, and I’ll stand in their place. I’ve got your back.”
You are so loved, Kazzie Portie. A photo posted by @lcmbearfacts on May 30, 2015 at 5:22pm PDT
You are so loved, Kazzie Portie.
A photo posted by @lcmbearfacts on May 30, 2015 at 5:22pm PDT
The veteran officer also promised to be standing at the end of the stage waiting for Portie. "I had to be the bearer of bad news for him, and I felt that was just the right thing to do,” Ellison shared.
When Portie's name was called during the ceremony, the entire stadium got on its feet and erupted in cheers. “Seeing Officer Ellison there to congratulate me meant the world to me,” Portie told BuzzFeed News of the moment.
“It was so nice to see that he actually showed a genuine care for me and my family’s situation instead of us just being another ‘case.’”
This was such a special moment. Thank you class of 2015 for making this such a memorable occasion for our family. So...Posted by Blake Henning on Saturday, May 30, 2015
This was such a special moment. Thank you class of 2015 for making this such a memorable occasion for our family. So...
He added, “My parents talked in the last month how proud they were of me for graduating, and not just for graduating, but how proud of me they were for the man I have become."
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