Payback: Ohio Boy’s Act of Kindness Yields a Big Return

Nine-year-old Myles Eckert may be America’s most reluctant celebrity. It was never his intention to be honored at civic events or posed for pictures, but for the last month, this has been his world.

“Things are not so normal right now,” says his mom, Tiffany. “We’re on the ride of our lives. … I mean, I’ve seen stuff go viral, but usually it’s like a picture of a cat — not my son. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

If you missed the story that started it all, Myles’ adventure began at a Cracker Barrel in Maumee, Ohio. As the security camera shows, Myles and his family entered the restaurant on February 7 at 11:14. Myles was very excited — he’d just found a $20 bill in the parking lot.

Myles says he had started thinking about what he could spend it on.

“I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” he says.

He changed his mind when he saw a guy in a military uniform enter the restaurant.

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

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.”

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