Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:24:25 GMT
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WATERVILLE, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Andy Eckert would have turned 33 on Feb. 18. Eckert was killed in action in Iraq in May 2005.
Eckert left behind his wife, Tiffany, and daughters Marlee and Myles.
Each year Marlee's school, Waterville Primary, holds a Winter Ball Dance, where girls can bring their father or a special guest. For the past four years, the dance has been held on or near Andy Eckert's birthday. Marlee will be attending this year's dance with her grandfather.
Family friend Holly Bennett, a Toledo firefighter, is working to give Marlee an extra special welcome to the dance.
"We're trying to get together as many police, fire, military, EMS personnel to line the red carpet as she enters the dance. This is the least that we could do for another fallen brother," said Bennett.
"Just even the thought of what we're trying to accomplish is so moving in itself that, I think it's going to speak loud and clear as a testament to who Andy was," said Tiffany Eckert, Marlee's mother. "I know Andy is up in heaven doing the happy dance, he's doing the funky chicken and he's just like, 'Go Marlee!"