LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- A letter written by a World War ll veteran more than 70 years ago was returned Thursday.
Earlier this month, we told you the story of two women from Glen Lyon who are trying to return World War ll era letters to the families of the service members who wrote them. They were found years ago in St. Adalbert's Church.
Now, we're sharing the story Christine Leandri of Lehman. She heard about the women's mission and found her great uncle's name on the list of veterans who still needed letters returned.
"I couldn't believe it," Leandri said. "I tripled checked it. I knew it was him though. I knew he was from the Glen Lyon area. I just knew it."
The letter is postmarked Christmas Day of 1944. It was written by Leandri's great uncle Chester Pish. Pish, like many servicemembers at the time, sent the letter to St. Adalbert's as a thank you. The church would often send care packages to troops overseas.
"Just holding it," Leandri said. "Just taking it out of the envelope. Just holding it, you felt 1944, you know. It's amazing. Reading it and then seeing his signature. I can't wait for him to see his own signature."
Leandri's great uncle is still alive and is now 95 years old. She returned the letter to him at a family party on Thursday.
"It's the best Christmas ever, you know," Leandri said. "We're just so proud of what these men did and what these women are doing for these families and it's amazing."
Here is a list of the veterans who still have letters that need to be returned:
Babskie, Robert; Bellini, August; Benkoski, Walter; Bolek, Michael; Bozimski, Edward; Bozinski, Sylvester; Borcki, Henry; Brozoski, John; Brutski, Walter; Bush, Albert; Butka, Albert; Butkuiewicz, Edward; Cheski, Max; Chnielak, Albert; Chmieleski, Henry; Dekutoski, Casmir; Dombroski, Gerard; Dombroski, Sygfried; Drozdienski, Joseph; Dudzinski, Joseph; Dudzinski, Walter; Fundelewicz, Leonard; Gembrusia, Stanley; Gionta, Quinto; Gorney, Walter; Guffrovich, Emory; Himilefski, Frank; Humphrey, Albert; Kaczmarek, Frank; Kaftanowicz, Stanley; Kalinowski, Leon; Kamieniecki, Frank; Kane, Norbert; Karcheski, Joseph; Kasnikowski, Joseph; Keyeck, Anthony; Keyeck, Stanley; Keyeck, Walter; Kleyps, Edward; Koas, Adolph; Kolakoski, Celia; Kornoski, Leonard; Koval, Joseph; Kovaleski, Albert; Kovaleski, Steven; Kowalski, John; Kowaleski, Clarence; Krauser, Leonard; Kriefski, Albert; Kriefski, Eugene; Kriefski, Sylvester; Krzywicki, John; Kwiatkowski, Ted; Lashinski, Joseph; Laskowski, Joseph; Leshniak, Julius; Levulis, Josephine; Lucas, J.A.; Maxey, Albert; Meshinski, Joseph; Meyeski, Margaret; Miara, Chester; Mundgetski, Clem; Myefski, Edward; Namowicz, Edward; Namowicz, John; Nork, Edward; Noss, Alfred; Novak, Alvin; Novak, Barney; Novak, John; Novak, Ernest; Obidzinski, Chester; Olenginski, Henry; Omichinski, Chester; Omichinski, Ted; Ozechowski, Edward; Pawloski, Edmund; Pawloski, Joseph; Petchik, Edmund; Petchik, Leo; Piavis, George; Pish, Chester; Pish, John; Rachunas, John; Rachunas, Frank; Rasmus, Walter; Reno, Wadic; Ringawa, Walter; Robachinski, Fred; Robachinski, Stanley; Rokicki, Edmund; Rule, Chester; Ruminski, Thomas; Russin, Stanley; Sawetski, Jean; Schraeder, Raymond; Scott, Clemence; Shekletski, Zigmund; Shemanski, Clemence; Shemanski, Walter; Skouronski, Clem; Slupecki, Joseph; Smocarski, Edmund; Sobolewski, John; Stankiewicz, Stanley; Stopchinski, Stanley; Stopchinski, Ted; Strzalka, Chester; Strzalka, Frank; Strzalka, Joseph; Stuczynski, John; Stuczynski, Joseph; Sugalski, Paul; Supko, Joseph; Sweeney, Stanley; Talanowski, John; Tarnowicz, Edward; Terkoski, Ray; Terkoski, Sylvester; Tokarchik, Joseph, Trynoski, Joseph; Venslove, Adam; Vinicki, John; Voytkowski, John; Waclawski, Clem; Waclawski, Zigmund; Wintergrass, Frank; Wrona, Eugene; Wuchek, John; Wyda, Edward; Yacuboski, Stanley, Zakrzewski, Clem; Zaucha, Mitchell; Zawacki, Louis; Zawala, Chester; Zawala, Edward; Zawatski, Edward; Zawatski, Eugene.