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Every parent experiences a little melancholy when their kids set off on their first day of school, but for Jessica Scherlen, it was heartbreaking.

Her husband, Officer Justin Scherlen of the Amarillo Police Department, was killed in the line of duty just two weeks ago and, for the first time in their lives, their two oldest children would not be there to wave goodbye as they set off.

Their youngest, Jackson, 4, is just entering pre-kindergarten, an important day in any child’s life, made more scary and emotional by the sudden loss of his daddy so recently.

Scherlen’s loss was also felt by his fellow officers at the Amarillo Police Department and they found the perfect way to share the day with his children in a way that would have, no doubt, meant the world to him.

Dozens of uniformed cops arrived at the family’s home in the morning to take the Scherlens to school.

The Department called them “an army of stand-ins” that walked the kids into school in a display of the friendship and brotherhood the officers feel for each other and the families of their fallen.

In a heartrending moment captured on video, little Jackson hugged every single officer, bringing tears to their eyes as they tried to match his brave face.

Their mom, recently widowed and now raising the children alone, told local reporters their father, “would be very proud of how his brothers and sisters in blue have stepped up to be here for his kids.”

No doubt he would have been proud of the way his kids stepped up to be there for his fellow officers, too.

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