Daughter Gets WWII Soldier's Letter After 69 Years
NBCNEWS.COM - RENO, Nev. - A World War II soldier's heartfelt letter to his
daughter has finally reached her, seven decades after it was written.
Eddington-Smith received the letter penned by her father, Pfc. John
Eddington, as well as his Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, during an
emotional ceremony Saturday in Dayton, Nev., about 40 miles southeast
The father she never met wrote the three-page letter
shortly after she was born and shortly before he died in Italy in June
1944. He sent it while stationed in Texas, just before he was sent
Getting his medals was nice, but the letter meant more
because it made her feel closer to her father, Eddington-Smith said. She
knew little about him since her mother could rarely bring herself to
discuss the love of her life.
"The letter gave me more knowledge of who he was," she told The
Associated Press. "He poured out his heart to me, and a lot of men don't
put that kind of emotion in writing. I'm just overwhelmed by
everything, trying to absorb everything."
Donna Gregory of St.
Louis found the soldier's letter and other World War II memorabilia in a
box 14 years ago while helping her then-husband clean out his
grandparents' home in Arnold, Mo., a St. Louis suburb.
voice cracked with emotion as she read the letter Saturday, bringing
tears to Eddington-Smith and many in the crowd of about 150.
soldier devoted the first page to his wife, saying he hoped she did not
find it "silly" that he was writing a letter to a child who could not
read. Addressing the next two pages to his "darling" daughter, he wrote
that while she may not see him "for some time," he wanted her to know
that she was always on his mind.
"I love you so much," the letter
says. "Your mother and daddy ... are going to give you everything we
can. We will always give you all the love we have." Eddington urged his daughter to "always treat your mother right. You have the sweetest mother on the Earth."
He closed the letter by writing, "I love you with all my heart and soul forever and forever. Your loving daddy."
and Gregory are unsure what connection the soldier had to the couple
who owned the house where his memorabilia was found. Eddington was from
Leadwood, Mo., about 75 miles southwest of St. Louis.
tracked down Smith in June after a search that involved libraries and
the Internet. Both women cried during their initial phone conversation
that left the daughter shocked by the items' discovery.
knew her father died in the war. She was unaware of the letter and
other contents of the box, including 16 letters from Eddington to his
mother, his draft card and military dog tags, his high school diploma
and newspaper clips.An only child, she grew up in St. Louis and
lived there until her mid-20s.
She moved with her four children to
Nevada in 1972 after a divorce. Her mother, Helen, never remarried and
died in 1997.
"I would ask my mother why she didn't get remarried
and her only comment was that she found the perfect man and will never
again find the perfect man," Eddington-Smith said.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 1:05 AM EST2013-12-11 06:05:12 GMT
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Friends of a Montana woman on trial for the death of her new husband say she showed little emotion when she located his body in Glacier National Park.More >>
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Friends of a Montana woman on trial for the death of her new husband say she showed little emotion when she located his body in Glacier National Park days after his July 7 disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 10:30 PM EST2013-12-11 03:30:19 GMT
A man who has already endured more than most is facing a new challenge.More >>
A man who has already endured more than most is facing a new challenge. Over the weekend, James VanCuren's snow tires were stolen from outside his garage before being installed on his truck. "I'm not taking the pass this time of year with bald tires," said VanCuren.More >>
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. That's how several people who live in Otis Orchards feel after vandals damaged or destroyed thousands of dollars of Christmas decorations. "When I came out with my daughter I saw the [inflatables] laying down and I came out and checked 'em," Ron Cafaro told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:39 PM EST2013-12-11 02:39:26 GMT
Monday night, the Spokane city council voted 6-0 to bring back the boot for habitual parking offenders. More >>
Monday night, the Spokane city council voted 6-0 to bring back the boot for habitual parking offenders. The city has not used the boot since the 1980's. The city says in the past ten years there have been more than 4 million dollars in unpaid parking tickets equaling around 90,000 unpaid tickets. The city says it aims to crack down on habitual offenders in the future.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:29 PM EST2013-12-11 02:29:21 GMT
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - Police in Kennewick, Wash., say a missing 14-year-old girl has talked with her mother and says she is in Mexico and is OK.More >>
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - Police in Kennewick, Wash., say a missing 14-year-old girl has talked with her mother and says she is in Mexico and is OK. KNDO says police confirmed Tuesday that the mother of Elizabeth Romero spoke with her daughter by phone and the girl said she is in Jalisco, Mexico.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:17 PM EST2013-12-11 02:17:34 GMT
In the winter season the risk of car prowling and vehicle thefts continues.More >>
In the winter season the risk of car prowling and vehicle thefts continues. Spokane Police Crime Analysts say if you become a victim of a car prowling you are looking at $300-500 to fix a window and if the thief steals a credit card they estimate that you could take a loss of $500-1000 per card.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:58 PM EST2013-12-11 01:58:19 GMT
Prosecutors in Bonner County tell KHQ that a jury found Brianna Knapp guilty Tuesday of Fleeing the Scene of a Fatal Crash.More >>
Prosecutors in Bonner County tell KHQ that a jury found Brianna Knapp guilty Tuesday of Fleeing the Scene of a Fatal Crash. Knapp was driving a car that struck off-duty Spokane Police Officer Kurt Henson's motorcycle in Bonner County back in 2012. Henson died in the crash and his passenger was seriously injured.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:30 PM EST2013-12-11 00:30:21 GMT
Production got underway at Zome Design in Spokane Valley for the official Washington State Cougar New Mexico Bowl shirt.More >>
Production got underway at Zome Design in Spokane Valley for the official Washington State Cougar New Mexico Bowl shirt. It's a very particular process to get the shirts complete as the school colors have to be exactly right. Once the production got underway they are able to produce 300 to 500 shirts per hour.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:22 PM EST2013-12-11 00:22:43 GMT
The Principal of Priest River Elementary says that school will be in session on Wednesday. The school was closed Monday and Tuesday after the boiler failed.More >>
The Principal of Priest River Elementary says that school will be in session on Wednesday. The school was closed Monday and Tuesday after the boiler failed. The principal says they have electric heat in the main building and Kindergarten through 4th grade will have normal classes.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:00 PM EST2013-12-10 22:00:52 GMT
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Marijuana business license applications keep rolling in Washington.More >>
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Marijuana business license applications keep rolling in Washington.The state Liquor Control Board says it has received 1,696 applications from people seeking permission to grow, process or sell cannabis under the new recreational marijuana law. The application window opened Nov. 18, with a deadline of 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.More >>