An Army veteran, James Wiitamaki, who is dying of cancer, placed an ad in the St. Cloud, Minnesota newspaper, asking for letters. And he has received piles of them. His innocent request has gone around the world and across the nation.
He placed the ad without letting his family know, so the zip code was incorrect. But his great niece, Brenna Glodowski corrected it in her Facebook Post. Literally well-wishers from all over the world have responded.
Australia, Canada, Germany, North Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Delaware, with cards being mailed from all over the United States, Mr. Wiitamaki will be reading for weeks.
His great-niece found the posting and shared it on Facebook, saying that if anyone has a few minutes to send a letter, she thinks he would be more than ecstatic to receive it.
The VA Medical Center confirmed James Wiitamaki is a patient in their community living center.
Hundreds of well-wishers posted their feelings on her Facebook page. The post has been shared literally thousands of times across the net from cancer pages to veterans groups. Here is one well-wisher’s sentiments:
Chris M wrote:
Ms. Glodowski I just read about your great uncle a little while ago. I just wrote a letter and will be mailing it out to him today.
I hope he will know that he has a brother now in Georgia. Even though we are not blood kin, he is my brother as a vet.
I’ve been praying for him and you all that are family. Just know now you have adopted family in Georgia now.
A VA representative noted on the comment thread that you can also send cards to any VA, and address them to “any veteran.” If you are concerned that they might be tossed in the garbage, call your local VA and ask how they would prefer them to be addressed.
Mr. Wiitamaki is thankful for the many cards and letter he is receiving. The VA National Salute to Veteran Patients is Feb. 12-18. The Salute gives every American the chance to thank Veterans by sending Valentines, cards and letters to Veterans at VA medical facilities. Find your local VA medical facility at https://www.va.gov/ and address to “Any Veteran.” Barry Venable
VA Medical Center, B51-2
4801 Veterans Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303