06/02/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Scott Anderson, U.S. Soldier, Uses Magic Tricks To Cheer Up Children In War-Torn Afghanistan And Iraq

When Scott Anderson began his first tour of duty as a MedEvac pilot in Afghanistan, he had no idea he would be able to use his talent for performing magic tricks to brighten the lives of children in the war-torn country. Anderson first realized the impact his tricks could have when he found himself struggling to cheer up a five-year-old Afghani boy in the hospital. Anderson quickly discovered his favorite hobby -- magic -- could transcend the language barrier and bring a smile to the boy's face.

On subsequent tours of duty, Anderson has performed his magic tricks to entertain children, his fellow soldiers and even entire villages in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

NBC Nightly News reports from Anderson's hometown in Oregon.