KINGSTON, Wash. - His is the typical boyhood bedroom: Spider-Man doll. Race car bed. Game Boy.
But there is one toy here little A.J. Norton loves more than anything: a stuffed brown bear named Bruno that A.J, has had for four of his six years.
"He's like a best friend," says A.J. "We want to stay with each other forever and stuff."
But when A.J. learned of the deaths of four Lakewood police officers last month, and the nine children they left behind, he felt the need to do something for them.
"I wanted to make more people feel happy," he says with a wide grin and warm, chocolate eyes.
So, on Sunday, A.J. and his mom drove from Kingston to the police memorial in Lakewood where the six-year-old presented an officer with a handwritten letter reading simply, "From me to pleece. I love you." He also brought Bruno the Bear for those nine children to keep and hold forever.
"They don't have a dad or mom, so I want to give them this for them to play with," said A.J.
The officer kept the letter and wrote about it in his own Christmas letter, telling how the boy's sweet sincerity is truly helping heal the broken hearts of countless police officers.
But that officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told A.J. to keep Bruno because his small gesture speaks louder than even the growl of a great grizzly.
That bear, though, still serves an important purpose for A.J. every time he hugs it.
"It reminds me about my family sometimes and how lucky I am," he says.
The officer gave A.J. a special "challenge coin," reserved for the bravest and most deserving of citizens. A.J. keeps it displayed right next to his treasured trophies for dirt bike racing.