Country singer Trace Adkins met Southern California children at La Habra library on Thursday to thank them for their donations to service members abroad.
Adkins said he was sitting in Lt. Col. Bill Wyles' office in Kandahar, Afghanistan on his 10th USO tour when his eyes fell on "box after box after box" of Girl Scout cookies and a stack of cards.
After learning that Girl Scouts from La Habra as well as other kids in La Habra's Operation Stay Connected program shipped more than 1,000 boxes of cookies and letters to troops in Khandahar, Adkins decided he wanted to thank them in person.
Adkins said he's seen his own five daughters send out letters to Santa and they never know if it makes to the North Pole.
"I thought that I could put forth just a little bit of effort and actually find one of these kids and say hey, your card did make it to the soldiers and they appreciated it," Adkins said. "That's all I really wanted to do."
Adkins picked his favorite card, and he and Wyles took a photo with it. Adkins promised to return the card to its 8-year-old writer, Jessica Santos Alatorre, a second grade student at Arbolita Elementary School in La Habra's Library Homework Help program.
"I didn't write words, but I meant to say I love you," Jessica said, pointing to the heart on her decorated card. She made the card in between finishing homework assignments.
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Jessica isn't a Scout but she is thinking of joining a troop.
"That's kind of what the heart of Girl Scouts is, which is exactly what Jessica did," said Melissa Rodriguez, a Girl Scout volunteer specialist.
Girl Scouts throughout Orange County have donated almost 58,000 boxes to active service members and veterans this year, according to Girl Scout officials.