8-Year-Old Gives Soldier a Gift He’ll Never Forget

soldier giftfrom The Foundry – Ericka Anderson –

Eight-year-old Myles Eckert did something unexpected after he found $20 in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel near Toledo.

After finding the bill, he entered the restaurant with his family, soon catching sight of a man in uniform. Lt. Col. Frank Dailey of the Ohio Air National Guard was also eating at Cracker Barrel that day and Myles decided the $20 should go to him.


“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Myles told CBS News in an interview.

The boy wrapped the $20 in a note that read:

Dear Soldier,

My Dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this $20 in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day. Thank you for your service.

Myles Eckert, a Gold Star Kid

Army Sgt. Andy Eckert, Myles’ father, was killed in Iraq just after his birth.

Dailey said it was “incredible being recognized in such a manner” and that the gift provided “a lifetime direction.”

After their meal, the boy’s mom, Tiffany, said Myles wanted to visit his Dad’s grave by himself.

Myles said he imagined his Dad to be “a really nice person and somebody that would be really fun.”


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Kim West
8 years ago

A wonderful and heartfelt story I hope everyone will enjoy. This little guy is already a hero who honored not only his dad but seized an opportunity to thank a Soldier for his service! What a lovely gesture……….

John De Moss
8 years ago

My late dad, John T. De Moss, was a WWII combat Marine;
My oldest sister & 3 brothers-in-law [1 late] are Vietnam-era vets;
I am a Vietnam Marine vet.
ALL served honorably and discharged.

From our Marine Corps Hymn:
“…ever look on Heaven’s scenes…they will find the streets are guarded by the United States Marines.”

GOD BLESS 8-year old, Gold Star Myles Eckert with his GOLDEN heart & soul; the late Sgt. Andy Eckert; & his widow Tiffany & their entire patriotic family;
God bless ALL American & Allied servicemen & women…past & present; active & inactive; & honorably-discharged & especially disabled veterans…


John S. L. De Moss,
USMC Corporal. 1970-72
1st Marine Air Wing; All-Marine Corps Wrestling Team

8 years ago
Reply to  John De Moss

“ever look on heaven’s scenes…. they will find the angels guarded by the United States Marines”
Dick Watson
1st MAW 1951-55 (old corps)

Helen Jones
8 years ago

To add another thought, how significant that the young man assumed the manly role in the family, saying “in our family we pay it forward.” He wanted the video game, but put a bigger value on his money. The lack of greed and the imbuement of self-sacrifice challenges us all. Wouldn’t every parent love their child to be the one with the big view, the self discipline, and the one who steps up to represent his family in such a staggering display of love. Thank you, son. Thank you, Mom, and Thank you to the soldier who also saw what was given and told us.

Peaver Bogart
8 years ago

I think, if I were that Lt. Col., I would have kept that 20 dollar bill and framed it with the note and hung it on my wall.

Dianne R Eggleston
8 years ago

My husband who is also in Heaven served in the Marines and Air force. He saw overseas duty aboard a ship but thank God he made it back safely. I pray for our country every day as due to our liberal government they think of no one but themselves, May Jesus return soon and call His children home. But until then I will pray for our soldiers and country.Thanks to all vets who are serving. May Congress do what is right and not cut their budget.

lynn fraelich
8 years ago

What a wonderful testament to this young man’s mother! She must be so proud of him. Your Dad is loving you from Heaven son. God bless.

carolee r simmons
8 years ago

i agree with the boy

chuck sluser
8 years ago

I think we all should take a time to thank those who serve where ever you see a service man/woman……I to am a vet ,viet nam,,,,a few of you might remember the greetings I and my fellow servicemen got when we came home all shot up…a shame of our own citizens

chuck sluser
8 years ago
Reply to  chuck sluser

this is a truly touching and powerful moment I do thank you for posting it…

Cliff Warner
8 years ago

I am a veteran,son of a WW2 veteran ,father of a partially disabled Iraq War Veteran. This story brought me to tears just as every time I see a widow receiving the flag at the burial service of her husband and the father of her children does. I think there is something we as Americans should contemplate. Something we owe it to those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice at our bidding. We must be sure, beyond any doubt that their sacrifice is required for the preservation of our country and our freedoms. We can’t afford to squander their lives in endeavors that are not absolutely necessary. We owe them that.

Georgianna Hoffeditz
8 years ago

What a wonderful, uplifting story! This young man is setting a good example for us all and the response of the veteran is awesome, an event he will never forget. My husband is a veteran and it’s wonderful when someone thanks him for his service. I feel so proud of him and my country. God Bless Myles and God bless the men and women in our Armed Forces!

8 years ago

This is a story of real character. Thank you, Myles, for your honesty and for doing what is right. Your deed is like a ray of sunshine cast on a troubled world. You are an example of what good character and integrity are all about. Your dad is very proud of you. God Bless you and your family.

Donna Wenzel
8 years ago

What an amazing story, God Bless this little one

Burt Quick
8 years ago

Thank you Myles for doing what every American should do!

God Bless you and your family.

8 years ago

Our troops and vets need all the support they can get. Too many times we forget about them giving their lives and limbs to protect our country. Being a Viet Nam vet, we didn’t get much respect. I wish other boys and girls had the same attitude this eight year old has, maybe he can pass it on to Obama and other gov’t. officials, that want to cut our military. They need and deserve all the help we can give to them. God Bless our troops and vets.

peewee h
8 years ago

when we encounter a uniformed marine, soldier, sailor, airman, or coast guardsmen, they have earned their recognition. Do what we can when for them. AT THE VERY LEAST OFFER THEM A HANDSHAKE AND A THANK YOU. I do. It warms my heart and brings a smile to their face everytime. I am a citizen that will forever be greatfull to our military.

Julie Baldree
8 years ago

This story brought tears to my eyes. We are blessed to have men like Myles’s father who has gone before us and this soldier Sgt. Andy Eckert. There is hope in this world when we read stories like this. Myles touched so many people that he will never meet. May God continue to watch over he and his family. God bless all our soldiers who protect our freedom. Thank you Myles for being who you are.

Debbie Hanna
8 years ago

Our children are so awesome. God has blessed us with amazing love that radiates from every child. I pray that we sit back and let what they are teaching us to radiate in our hearts and minds. My most sincere prayers go out for Myles and his family, and the countless other families. May God watch over and protect our Troops and bring them all home safely.

8 years ago

What a wonderful child. His father who is looking down on him must be very proud. Sometimes there is something that you hear about or read about that touches your heart, this little boy touched mine. Sad so many little boys and girls have lost a parent to a war we lost and not because we didnt fight hard enough or long enough but it is a religious war and it cant be won. There are only loosers in any religious war!

Catherine Sears
8 years ago

Our lovely niece lost her husband in Afghanistan. Brandon was a wonderful husband and father of 2 amazing boys. We miss our Hero In Heaven.

Myles, you may be young, but your heart is big, you stand like a giant in my eyes.

Way to go!

Thanks soilders! We are praying for you…Psalm 91

Mary Decker
8 years ago

Amazing story. We should all follow the example this child has set forth. Thank God for all of our Soldiers – those with us and those who have gone before us.

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