Frank Grasberger, 95, fought at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. Third Grader Dashauna Priest wrote a letter as a class project to the WWII veteran she didn’t know. How the two of them finally met and how much the exchange of letters would come to mean for both of them is a precious story. (Stripes)
Story continues below:
Frank Grasberger was on an Honor Flight from DC in 2009. A third grader at Irving Elementary School in Lorain, Ohio wrote letters to the veteran she didn’t know for a class project. The one received by Frank was written by third grade student Dashauna Priest.
Thank you for saving us from Hitler. If it wasn’t for you, we would never have freedom. You made freedom for us. You sacrificed your own life.Dashauna Priest
Frank was so moved that he carries that letter everywhere he goes, carefully folded in an envelope. Little did he know that when he wrote a response to the letter, Dashauna also kept his response in a special memory box. The Grasbergers had no idea that she had even received his reply, but she did.
You really made me feel very good about fighting the war. War is a terrible thing but if it helped to keep you and many others ‘free’ it was well worth it.Frank Grasberger
Frank and his wife Delores live at the Vitalia Senior Residences in Strongsville, Ohio. Knowing how much Frank valued the letter, Resident Services Director Jill Pawlowski searched hard to find Dashauna on social media to perhaps arrange a surprise visit. When they connected, Dashauna was excited about the plan to meet him. On July 23rd, she came to the center on the pretext of interviewing Frank. When she walked in with a handful of red roses, he was amazed. The video of their emotional encounter is at this link. It was said that both of them went through two boxes of tissue at the meeting.
Jill, the Resident Services Director, put her investigative powers to work and found DeShauna who is now 21 years old! She now lives about an hour away in Sandusky, Ohio. When Jill posed the invitation to meet Frank, without hesitation, she said YES and 4 days later they met after 12 years!Vitalia Senior Residences
Since encounter, the two exchange regular phone calls and greetings. The Grasbergers say that Dashauna is now considered one of their daughters. A member of the National guard, she is also a mother, so her son Kyro will also be part of the family and promised to bring him to visit.
”This is a godsend. I never thought I’d see you.”Frank Grasberger
Those letters are a part of something much greater: Dashauna said she has always valued people in uniform. Frank’s service was also valuable to her. What we value in life will determine the course of our lives- if we value nothing, or something negative, we are destined for problems. Thanks to both of these folks for holding value in something as simple as a letter.
Featured photo: screenshot from Vitalia Senior Residences
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