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First grader delivers 100 birthday cards to World War II veteran


Seven-year-old Layla Leuthy Peck, riding aboard a Newtown fire truck escorted by police, delivered 100 cards on Dec 29 to World War II veteran Joseph Gagliardi in celebration of his 100th birthday.

While listening to Monsignor Michael Picard’s service about the importance of doing a good deed for a good person, Layla looked up to her grandmother and said her best friend, Joe, is a really good person so she was going to figure out just the right good deed for him.

Gagliardi, a Navy veteran who was on the PT boat that escorted Gen. MacArthur in the Philippines, had talked about how much he misses going to elementary schools to talk about his military service and the importance of finding ways to serve. He especially misses receiving the handmade cards of thanks from the children that he would treasure.

Layla decided that her good deed would be to enlist her first grade classmates at St. Andrew School to make him a 100 cards to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Layla’s wish is that this will show other children it’s possible to make a difference even when you’re only in first grade. She said, “I really hope other kids will start writing cards and give them to veterans.”

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