Sgt. Thomas White gave a big boost to Dakota Lee Allen when she was feeling sick. Now she wants to return the favour.
“I love him … I want to give him a big hug and a kiss,” said Dakota, 5, yesterday after she was told White had been wounded last month in Afghanistan and is recovering at a military hospital in Germany.
When the little girl met the Canadian soldier almost three months ago, they had both been through some tough times.
She had travelled from Prescott, Ont., to Toronto for heart surgery on Jan. 12 at the Hospital for Sick Children. White was in Toronto to repatriate a fallen soldier.
Before Dakota went into surgery, she told her family she she wanted to stand outside the Toronto coroner’s office to honour Trooper Brian Good, the 107th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan. At the time she told a Toronto Star reporter, “It’s important to be here. It will make me feel brave to go into surgery.”
The little girl asked White to sign her flag. He shook her hand, gave her a hug and wished her good luck. After the operation, she drew him a picture of her heart. White took the drawing back to Afghanistan.
White’s mother said meeting Dakota at the repatriation ceremony was a bright spot for her son.
“She was one brave little soldier,” said his mother.