Albany soldier grants child's wish via the web

Khalil Quarles and his mother chats with a U.S. Army Soldier. / Jessica Fairley

An Albany soldier has taken time from his duties in Kuwait to grant the Christmas wish of a terminally ill child.

10-year-old Khalil Quarles is suffering from cancer and one of his wishes for Christmas was to meet a real soldier.

Under Operation Secret Soldier, Albany native Major Norland James rose to the challenge.

Although he's serving in Kuwait, James chatted with the child via Skype Wednesday afternoon.

Khalil and his mother sat before the computer in their Baltimore, Maryland home as the soldier gave him words of encouragement to keep him going.

James says the joy that the child had truly touched his heart.

"I was probably just as excited about seeing him and being able to talk to him than he was. So I think we both were equally excited, him maybe a little bit more. It will probably hit him later on," said Major Norland James, Chief of Medical Logistics Operations for the U.S. Army.

James also arranged for soldiers in Khalil's hometown to meet with the child and stage an honorary U.S. Army Reserve ceremony for him.

Khalil will also receive a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Army.