Home News Parents receive letter from son serving in Iraq… almost 11 years later

Parents receive letter from son serving in Iraq… almost 11 years later

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letters from home military iraq war zone
Photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez

It’s been almost 11-years since U.S. Marine Lynn Craig, 40, of Roanoke, VA returned home from Iraq. In that time, he never thought twice about the letters he’d sent home to keep in touch with his parents, David, 75, and Edith, 73, but a three-page letter he wrote back in September of 2005, was just delivered.

The Roanoke Times reports the missing letter was dated March 14, 2005, and postmarked from a “free mail combat zone”.  Lynn says he wrote the letter after he’d been in Iraq for about a month. He recalls being with his platoon “collecting and destroying enemy munitions and defending the area from insurgents”. He smiled, “It really brings you back”.

When Lynn wrote the letter, he was a lance corporal in the Marines. Now, he’s a staff sergeant and still serving in the Reserves. According to his mother, he had his heart set from a young age on being in the military.

“I would go down and buy his fatigues at Sam’s and they would alter them so that he could wear them,” Edith said. “And that’s all he wore for years, was fatigues.”

Lynn’s mother wondered where the letter had been all this time, “I’d love to know the stories that this letter could tell us,” Edith said, wondering how many hands had come in contact with the letter since it was mailed, and his father thought about how he might have teased his son for not writing much.

military mail
Military members handle thousands of packages and letters per month. Photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez

Tad Kelley, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service says “there’s no way of knowing what happened [to the letter] in transit from Iraq to Roanoke, Virginia, it’s very rare for letters to go missing for that long” he went on that it’s even more rare for them to turn up, but if they do, “we deliver the mail. It’s what we do”.

The family is happy to have received the letter filled with heartwarming references to their shared lives at home and an opportunity to honor both a fallen friend, and gratitude that their son was safely at home.

At the end of the letter, Lynn tells his father: You’ll probably hear from me before you get this.

No one ever would have imagined.

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