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Everyday Heroes: MYLES ECKERT

April 1, 2014

Most people believe that Everyday Heroes perform feats of herculean bravery. They’re right as far as it goes. Some  Everyday Heroes show courage that is almost beyond imagination. But Everyday Heroes also perform feats that have nothing to do with courage or have nothing to do with risking their lives. Some Everyday Heroes perform acts grounded in generosity, character, kind-heartedness, selflessness, and/or love.

Eight-year-old Myles Eckert recently acted in a way that displayed all of those traits, and at the same time honored the memory of a father he never met. When an 8-year-old boy can act as Myles did, then what can we as a society expect from that young man when he becomes an adult. It is children like Myles that give me hope for the future. Children like Myles reaffirm my faith in the grandiosity and nobility of mankind.

In the note Myles wrote (see below), he mentions that “We like to pay it forward in our family.” What if every one of us adopted that philosophy. My God, we could have an epidemic of generosity, kindness, and nobility that would soon infect the entire planet.

Inspired by Myles Eckert, I just made a contribution to Wounded Warriors. What will you do to pay it forward?

CBS News

TOLEDO, Ohio — At the Ohio Air National Guard base near Toledo, Lt. Col. Frank Dailey still can’t believe the honor recently bestowed upon him. “It’s incredible being recognized in such a manner,” he says.

It happened at a Cracker Barrel, of all places. Dailey entered the restaurant on Feb. 7 for an early lunch. About the same time, 8-year-old Myles Eckert came in with his family.

Myles was very excited. He’d just found a $20 bill in the parking lot. He’d started thinking of what he could spend it. “I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” Myles says.
He changed his mind when he saw the guy in uniform.

“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Myles explains.

And so, with his dad in mind, Myles wrapped the $20 in a note that read, “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.”

Army Sgt. Andy Eckert was killed in Iraq, just five weeks after Myles was born. All the kid has ever had are pictures and dog tags, other people’s memories and his own imagination.

“I imagine him as a really nice person and somebody that would be really fun,” Myles says.

The dad he imagines must also love a good story. Because after lunch that day, Myles asked his mom, Tiffany, to make one more stop.

“He wanted to go see his dad,” Tiffany says. “And he wanted to go by himself that day.”

She took a photo from the car.  Myles stands there, presumably telling his dad all about it. And whether heaven heard him or not, his good deed continues to impress here on earth.myles-grave.jpg

“I look at it every day,” Dailey says of the note Myles gave him.

It turns out Myles gave him a bigger gift than $20.

“A lifetime direction, for sure,” Dailey says. Dailey says he’s already given away that $20 and plans to do much more. He also hopes that little green Post-It will inspire other people across the country to give — to give as sincerely and dutifully as that father and son.
Joseph Badal writes this monthly blog to highlight Everyday Heroes that set an example for others. If you have any stories about Everyday Heroes you would like to share with Joe, for consideration of inclusion in a future blog, please send your suggestion to Joe at

Joseph Badal is the author of seven thrillers, including “The Pythagorean Solution,” ” Shell Game,” “Evil Deeds,” “Terror Cell,” “The Nostradamus Secret,” and “The Lone Wolf Agenda.” “The Lone Wolf Agenda” was the winner in the Fiction-Mystery/Thriller category of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in 2013. He has been recognized as one of the 50 Best Authors You Should Be Reading.

His seventh thriller, “Ultimate Betrayal,” will be released on April 22, 2014.

Ultimate Betrayal cover


One Comment leave one →
  1. April 7, 2014 2:53 am

    Thank you Joseph for producing the most honest and innocent example of paying it forward.

    Dear Myles Eckert, may you always remain strong against misanthropy. Never give up faith in the father, son and holy spirit. In life, remember that if you can’t make them see the light of righteousness, you must make them feel the heat. Otherwise, “they” will have another chance to win.

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