Actress Leah Remini was reduced to tears on her U.S. TV chat show THE TALK on Thursday (11Nov10) when she was united with a U.S. soldier she had been in contact with while he was serving in Iraq.
The King of Queens star was marking Veterans Day in the States by recalling how she had been exchanging emails with Sergeant Jonathan White after he wrote to a fansite for her hit TV show.
She explained, "I was contacted by Sergeant Jonathan White... through a fan website for the King of Queens... So he contacted them and they contacted me and this soldier asked for a banner. He said if I could just send (them) a banner... we just need to know that people support us. It says, 'We love and support our troops', and I went to area schools and got people to sign it, I signed it, my daughter signed it, and I just thought how selfless these soldiers are because they also asked for soccer balls... to hand out to the Iraqi children, and it really, really touched me that these guys care so much."
Remini admitted she had never met White, but would "love to" one day see him face-to-face.
And she was left stunned when co-host Julie Chen surprised her by welcoming White to the stage, prompting Remini to break down in tears as she hugged the army sergeant.
White paid tribute to the TV star for her ongoing support of the army, telling the audience, "Leah's supported us for 15 months and simply put, thank you for making a difference."
And Remini's fellow presenter Sharon Osbourne had a special surprise of her own in store for the soldier, after learning he was a big fan of her rocker husband Ozzy and was planning to attend his upcoming concert in Tacoma in Washington state.
She told White, "Any friend of Leah's is a friend of Ozzy's and he's heard about you and you're gonna be his guest at the side of the stage with as many people as you want, however many of your friends you wanna bring. Bring them all!"