CAPE COD, Mass. – Boy Scout Dylan DeSilva (search) was looking for a way to help Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan be prepared.
So the 12-year-old from Cape Cod started small by saving his allowance to buy items such as bug spray, tissues, sunscreen and potato chips. His parents joined his quest by providing financial aid and setting up a bank account.
Dylan then enlisted the help of his troop, Boy Scout Pack 73, to send e-mails and care packages to the troops overseas.
“We’re sending [the packages to] Iraq and Afghanistan for all the guys, just to honor them,” he FOX News.
The initiative, Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops (search), has become so successful that packages are sent every week.
The boy never thought he'd meet one of the recipients of his goodwill. But one day, while getting a hot dog at a local marina, he bumped into National Guard Sgt. Dennis Barrett (search).
“I live on the Cape and I was down at a local marina where Dylan had a table set up handing out flyers” about his program, Barrett said.
Dylan, who had approached Barrett in the restaurant asking if the guardsman would sign his shirt, said the man’s name rang a bell, yet he still didn’t know Barrett was one of the service members to whom he'd sent a package.
“When I was stationed over in Iraq I received some e-mail from him and I was the fortunate recipient of one of his packages,” said Barrett, 33.
“It was a great feeling for me … to put a face to all the packages,” Barrett said of the boy’s generosity. “It was a big morale boost.”
Other recipients agree.
“I want to personally thank you for the care package that you sent me,” said A. Rodriquez, whose note of thanks is posted on the boy’s Web site, www.capecod4thetroops.com. “Your generosity and support brought a tear to my eye! You are doing a wonderful job showing us your support, and I proudly salute you for your dedication and contributions.”
And D.B. said: “Thank you so much for the package you sent me. What a great feeling it is to be appreciated and to know people back home CARE! It is my hope that in service to my country, good will prevail. I also want you to know that what you are doing matters. I am proud to know you.”
Those who wish to join Dylan’s mission can visit his Web site and e-mail him at Dylan@capecod4thetroops.com to arrange donations to U.S. service members. Packages may be sent to anonymous or specific individuals, Dylan said. A complete care package costs $40, according to the Web site.
As for his future pursuits, Dylan said: “I’m planning on going into the Navy.”
And Barrett’s reply?
“Not a bad branch, but they’re all great.”
To make a donation to Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops, send a check or money order to 1831 Long Pond Road Brewster, MA. 02631.
Click in the video box at the top of the story to see a report by FOX News' David Asman.