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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (KRDO/CNN) - A decades-old letter from a soldier to his wife ended up in the hands of a Colorado woman.

Sgt. Johnie Watkins penned to his wife, Marge in March of 1946. His son received the same letter decades later. (Source: KRDO/CNN VAN)

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

“My darling Marge, I got your letter today and one from mom. I appreciate hearing from you dear, no matter how new or old the letter may be,” said Katy Hadduck, who read the letter aloud.

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

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

The letter was filled with poignant observations and reflections.

"Sixteen men went home tonight and 10 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 goes one.

Hadduck knows those words 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,” Hadduck said.

Thanks to help on social media, Hadduck tracked down Johnie Arthur Watkins III and hand 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,” Watkins said. “I had many of them, since she just passed away I made the decision not to read them."

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

Watkins said he will read the letter.

Hadduck recognized the stamp on the letter because her father also served in World War II.

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