WWII Veteran Meets Woman Who Wrote Him A Thank You Note Back In Third Grade, Twelve Years Ago

Sep 15, 2021 by apost team

We all hope that one day we can meet our personal childhood heroes. Whether it be a frontline worker, a famous athlete or anyone that is really making a difference in this world, heroes come in all shapes, sizes and occupations. For many of us, meeting these lifelong heroes would be an honor. For one 9-year-old girl, her hero was a World War II veteran.

DeShauna Priest was in elementary school when she was given the assignment to write a thank you letter to an American World War II veteran. She had always appreciated the bravery of those who served and truly admired the number of sacrifices they had to make to help provide a better life for people living in the United States. Writing the thank you note meant a lot to Priest, but it meant even more to the veteran who received it.

Frank Grasberger is the happy recipient of the letter, and has kept it with him ever since he received it 12 years ago. The 95-year-old currently lives in a retirement home in Strongsville, Ohio, and brings the letter with him to every single room he visits. He has never left it out of his sight. Even though the letter was signed with Priest's name, Grasberger struggled to find the person responsible for writing it, and always wished he could meet her to thank her in person.

In July 2021, Grasberger and Priest finally found each other and were able to meet in person. Priest had a surprising revelation to share with her longtime hero, leaving both of them in tears.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

Taking The Note Everywhere He Goes

In September 2021, PEOPLE reported that Grasberger has kept a strong hold of the simple letter he received from Priest 12 years ago. Priest had been just a child at the time of writing it, and was encouraged to do so as a third grade school assignment. Her letter had a sweet note thanking Grasberger for his service, along with some drawings of an American flag and flowers coming out of a helmet.

"I could not understand how a young girl could write a letter to a veteran when she — I don't think she had any idea what a war was," Grasberger said. "And she wrote a letter, and what tore me up is how she wrote it and showed flowers coming out of a helmet." The 95-year-old man continued, "I was very impressed, as young as she was, that she thought about a veteran and how she made a letter to a veteran."

In the letter, Priest wrote, "If it wasn't for you, we would never have freedom. You made freedom for us." According to CBS Evening News, Grasberger revealed that other than his wife, Delores, nothing meant more to him than Priest's letter. Delores said, "When he has that letter with him, he has a feeling of faith and trust and love."

Since receiving the letter, the elderly man has always wished he could meet Priest to thank her for her kind words. It took some time, but the two were finally able to meet face-to-face in July 2021. 


Emotional Meeting Face-To-Face

An employee at VITALIA Senior Residences at Strongsville, the retirement home Grasberger lives at with his wife, tracked down Priest, according to PEOPLE. She is now 21 years old. When the day finally came for the two to meet, both Priest and Grasberger found themselves to be extremely emotional. When Priest walked in to meet Grasberger for the first time, she showed up in uniform and told the elderly man that she was currently serving in the U.S. Army National Guard. She also had a bouquet of flowers and a card to give to Grasberger. 

"Don't make me cry, please," Grasberger said upon seeing Priest. "Honest to God. Oh, I love you so much, I really do." They were both overwhelmed with emotions. "We cried together," Priest said. "We've cried together. I don't really cry around anyone." Delores also spoke up about just how much Priest's letter meant to her husband. "It was just something about that letter that made him keep thinking and thinking about her, kept her in his mind all the time, and he had never met her," she said. "He didn't know anything about her. That letter, it was an act of kindness, is what it was."

Reflecting on the moment he was finally able to meet Priest, Grasberger said, "You can't imagine the feeling I had when she stood next to me. It just took my breath away." Priest explained that it was the beginning of a relationship for the two of them. "Friendship," she said before pausing to reconsider. "Family, not friendship."

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