It's not uncommon for 10-year-old boys to look to fiction for heroes, but it seems unusual for this generation to look to real-life heroes many decades older than they are.
But according to the CBS Evening News, that's the way it happened for North Carolina twin boys Carter and Jack Hanson.
After obsessively playing the game "Battleship," they became fascinated in naval warfare and ate up any history they could find on it. That led them to a long-distance friendship with WWII veteran Richard Harding, who served on the aircraft carrier Yorktown. They corresponded daily with Harding, learning about WWII naval history through his stories.
In describing the experience, Carter exclaimed, "I just realized how amazing history can be."
The Hudson family took a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to see the Yorktown in person, but what awaited them there the boys could not have wished for in their wildest dreams.
As arranged by the Yorktown crew, Carter and Jack were led into a room aboard the ship where their hero Harding sat waiting for them.
They immediately rushed at the WWII veteran for a warm embrace. Harding then spent the rest of the day giving them a detailed tour of his ship.
In describing his experience corresponding with the boys, Harding said he had never before shared many of his stories from the war, but "I guess I needed someone to talk to about it. It's surprising the way it worked out."
Carter had his own way of describing the friendship, with tears in his eyes: "We don't know about how we've changed his life, but we know that he obviously changed ours."