73-year-old letter from soldier found and returned

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (KSNT/CNN Newsource) – A decade’s old letter from a soldier to his wife ended up in the hands of a Colorado woman.

With the help of the internet, the woman made sure the note made it to the soldier’s family.

Katy Hadduck, who found the letter, read a portion of it: “My darling Marge, I got your letter today and one from mom.”

It’s these personal handwritten words that Sgt. Johnie Watkins penned to his wife, Marge, in March of 1946.

“I appreciate hearing from you dear, no matter how new or old the letter may be.”

“The return address was an APO, Army Post Office in San Francisco. Which makes me think he was in the Pacific Theatre at the end of the war,” Hadduck said.

She recognized the stamp because her father also served in WWII.

The letter was filled with poignant observations and reflections.

“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.”

Words Katy Hadduck knows are a part of a family’s story.

“His little boy Johnie had just sent him a Valentine’s letter and he was wishing his little son a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Thanks to help on social media, Hadduck tracked down Johnie Arthur Watkins III and delivered the letter.

Watkins said there were hundreds of letters just like this one.

When his mom passed away last week, the letters she left behind were too much for Watkins to handle.

“It feels good to have them back again. I had many of them, but since she just passed away I made the decision not to read them,” Johnie Arthur said.

So he threw them out, but out of the hundreds of letters, this one ended up back at his front door.

Arthur said that he plans to read this letter.

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