Adorable lil’ marine who went viral for Memorial Day tribute to don his uniform again for Toys for Tots

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:27 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A nine-year-old boy who went viral for his touching tribute to fallen soldiers on Memorial Day while dressed in a pint-sized Marine uniform is planning to don the uniform again Friday as he delivers toys he purchased for the annual US Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots, an effort to provide toys to those who cannot afford to buy them for Christmas.

The toy drive was founded by a Marine reservist in 1947.

Lain Salisbury, a fourth grader at Timber Ridge Elementary in Killeen ISD, is the son of Brad, a retired disabled Army vet who also retired from the US Marine Corps.

Brad taught his son the military tribute that he performed in the custom made uniform in 2019 at a local VFW post on Memorial Day.

A VFW member recorded a video and posted it online. It’s received more than 17 million views.

Lain decided three years ago to use the uniform again yearly as a way to honor the efforts of Toys for Tots.

His dad says it couldn’t make him prouder.

“I just think it’s nice to see a kid that’s involved in doing something that helps his community,” Brad said. “We live in a generation of kids that are entitled and it’s nice to see he’s willing to do a little extra for somebody that doesn’t have anything. I think that speaks volumes to his character.”

Lain says donating to Toys for Tots makes him feel good.

“The reason I want to donate Toys for Tots is because the kids that don’t have any toys will get some toys so they can have fun with all they have and so that they can be happy,” he said.

Lain models and participates in pageants and his mom, Deidre, says he uses the money he’s awarded to purchase the toys throughout the year.

“Every year throughout the year he does pageants,” Deidre said. “He collects the toys that he wants to give to Toys for Tots, so we have a garage full of toys that he specifically wants to give Toys for Tots.”

Lain will be at the Walmart on Lowe’s Blvd in Killeen alongside KWTX on Friday to deliver his toys around 6 p.m.