On the morning of June 19, 2012, Pauine, Tom’s wife began her day with a list of errands one of which was to mail to her husband in Kandahar Afghanistan a doll and teddy bear he had asked her to send for a little girl who had touched his heart. This was not unusual for the Boyle family as Tom frequently made these requests throughout his deployments to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon returning home from the post office Pauline was soon met by three men who would inform her of her husband’s death earlier that morning. A few days later she remembered mailing the box and informed the military so that it might be located. The package was lost for over 3 months and as miracles do happen the package was eventually found. When informed of this Pauline asked the Lt. Colonel if it was still possible to honor Tom’s last request. In true military fashion to honor a fallen brother the military jumped to the task. It wasn’t until October 23, 2012 that this mission was accomplished. To quote Mrs. Boyle, ‘This is a bittersweet ending to many dark days we have had to endure and indeed it does bring comfort to our family. I pray that all of you remember those who serve and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. But also keep in your hearts the real victims in any war – our children.
Quote from the military, ‘At long last we were able to deliver the gifts you had sent to Tom for the little girl named Tamanah. She is 6 years old and was very excited to receive these gifts. The timing was also good as she is celebrating Eid-al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice. Appropriate on many levels. It is a time of celebration in Afghanistan and I can tell you that it was a great celebration at Provincial Reserve tonight in Tom’s honor.
These events led to the founding of the Tom’s Toys program.
Comments from friends of the Boyle Family
I am so glad everything worked out. Helping the children, our greatest ally in this time of change has always been an incredible duty of our uniformed personnel. It always amazes me the length to which some soldiers will go to accomplish the mission. It is an extraordinary thing you have done Pauline. To reach Tamanah, nearly 7000 miles away and provide her a heartfelt gift that bridges our cultures. It really is about the kids. Ssgt Hunter Lawson Lloyd, US Army.
The smile on this little girls face is priceless. Tom made a difference in this world in many ways, one of which is giving Tamanah more than a doll and a teddy bear. All her life she will remember Tom – and so will we. Mrs. Bert Schreiber