Colorado Springs

73-year-old Valentine's Day letter returned to WWII veteran's son

73-year-old Valentines Day letter...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A woman from Colorado Springs reunited a neighbor with a 73-year-old letter written by a soldier to his wife.

The decades-old memento from World War II is back in the hands of the veteran's family.

Katy Hadduck says she was walking her dogs in the Northgate neighborhood of Colorado Springs, near Voyager and Interquest, when she stumbled upon a letter face down in the street.

"I picked it up and read it. I didn't have my glasses on, so I asked my husband, 'What's the date on this?' I thought it looked pretty old, and he said, '1946,'" she said.

Hadduck's father was also a WWII veteran, and she says she recognized the stamp on the letter because it looked similar to those from her father.

The three-page letter was written on March 12, 1946, and reads, "My darling Marge, I got your letter today and one from mom, so I feel much better tonight."

It's those personal, handwritten words that Hadduck knew were part of a family's history.

The letter was written by a soldier to his wife in California in the 1940s. It has a return address of an APO in San Francisco, so she suspects the soldier may have been stationed in the Pacific at the time.

The letter talks about service, sacrifice, and love.

"Sixteen men went home tonight and ten more are to go tomorrow and the next day. I sure feel bad when I see them all go and I just seem to stay on and on," the letter reads.

The note not only mentions his wife, but also his 3-year-old son, Johnie.

"His little boy Johnie had just sent him a Valentine's letter, and he was wishing his little son a Happy Valentine's Day," Hadduck said.

Thanks to help on social media, KRDO helped Hadduck track down Johnie Arthur Watkins III. Wednesday, she hand-delivered the letter.

Watkins says there were hundreds of letters just like the Valentine's Day letter Hadduck found. But after his mom, Marge, died last week, Watkins said he couldn't bring himself to read them.

"I had many of them, since she just passed away I made the decision not to read them," Watkins said.

So he threw them out.

But of the hundreds of letters, one ended up back at his front door and it's one he says he'll be sure to read.


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