Tiffany Eckert and her son, Myles, lost their soldier husband and father in Iraq when Myles was just a newborn baby. Now, Myles is older and often thinks about his father, who lost his life serving our country at the young age of 24. Tiffany will frequently take Myles to visit his father's gravesite, as that is the one main connection Myles has to the father he never had the chance to get to know.
One day, while Tiffany and Myles (who was 8 at the time) were headed in to eat at a Cracker Barrel in Ohio, Myles found $20 in the parking lot. He was so excited that he found the money, and instantly thought about buying himself a new video game. After they were in the restaurant however, someone caught Myles' eye that made him rethink what he wanted to do with the $20...
A soldier walked in through the front doors, while holding a baby. The soldier, Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Dailey, instantly reminded Myles of his own late father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert. Seeing another soldier gave Myles a new idea for how to use the money he found. He took the $20 and wrapped it in a yellow piece of paper, which contained a note for Lt. Col. Dailey:
"Dear Soldier - my dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars 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."
After giving Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Dailey the money instead of buying a video game for himself, Myles asked Tiffany if they could go visit his father's gravesite. During this particular visit however, Myles asked his mother if he could have some alone time with his father. Tiffany agreed to his wishes, and let Myles be alone with his dad.
While giving Myles the space he asked for, Tiffany caught a glimpse of something her son was doing that was so beautiful, it moved her to tears. She photographed Myles hugging his father's gravestone as tight as he possibly could. She felt as if he made a promise to his father that day, that he would continue doing good deeds for others, just as he had for Lt. Col. Dailey.
Years later, Myles is still honoring that promise. Lt. Col. Dailey had been so moved by what Myles did for him, that the gesture actually started a Pay-It-Forward Movement. The $20 Myles initially found, turned into $2 million that has been raised so far for multiple charitable organizations. Myles has since been recognized for his philanthropic work with gold star children, which are children who lost a parent to war. How did he do it? Check out the video below to see what this amazing young boy started...
Here's the full heartwarming story!
What a terrific and thoughtful kid Myles is. He turned a tragedy he suffered at a young age in his own life, into a way to help others who are suffering from a similar loss. Keep up the great work Myles!