John Metzler lives in Wendell, Idaho, and keeps a special letter on his bookshelf. It was written by a girl in sixth grade, and he received it (randomly) when he was a 23-year-old Army helicopter sniper in Vietnam. He received it on Christmas day, 1970, and it said, "Dear Serviceman, I want to give my sincere thanks for going over to war to fight for us. The class hopes you will be able to come home." It was signed "DonnaCaye." Metzler said the letter helped him survive Vietnam. Why? "It's because she said thank you." Not long ago, he asked his family members to find DonnaCaye, but they couldn't.
Or at least that's what they told John. In fact, they found DonnaCaye Ludemann Sica living in Florida and contacted her. "I remember writing that letter," she said. "I hoped to make a serviceman's life a little simpler for a couple of minutes." In sixth grade she took the assignment seriously, and she still does. That's why she flew from Florida to Idaho to surprise her unsuspecting soldier. "You're real!" John said when he saw her. "Yes, I'm real," she replied.