A World War II veteran was left tearfully pleading, “Don’t make me cry, please,” after the staff at the senior home, where he was a resident, decided to take some liberties with the elderly man’s most prized possession. The outcome was a video you don’t want to miss.
Frank Grasberger, a WWII veteran, was given a gift that meant the world to him and quickly became his most valued possession. It was a simple “thank you” letter from a young girl, but it touched the Strongsville, Ohio resident’s heart so much that he carried the letter with him wherever he went for 12 years. “I’d never be without it,” Frank admitted. “Because it’s something that somebody thought of me that much.”
That somebody was 9-year-old Dashauna Priest, who wrote the letter to Frank to thank him for his service in World War II, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, The Blaze reported. “If it wasn’t for you, we would never have freedom. I’m so happy you made sacrifices. Your friend, Dashauna Priest,” read the letter from the third-grader, who wrote to Frank because she admired people in uniform.
“I’m tickled to death that I have a letter like this,” Frank admitted, explaining that the simple thank-you symbolized a life well served. In fact, it meant so much to Frank that he wanted to thank the author, so his wife Delores contacted Dashauna Priest’s school and sent her a card, thanking her for the special letter.
Unfortunately, Frank and his wife never got to thank the little girl in person. Frank never forgot about the little girl, though, thinking of her often ever since he received the letter. “We never could find her. He says, ‘Before I close my eyes I have to find her. I have to find her,'” Delores recalled, explaining Frank’s attachment to the letter and his over a decade-long desire to find the girl who wrote it.
“When he has that letter with him, he has a feeling of faith, and trust, and love,” Delores explained, describing Frank’s emotional attachment to the letter. With Frank carrying the letter everywhere he went, his deep desire to meet the child who wrote it became evident to everyone, including most of the staff at the senior home, where Frank and his wife reside.
Wanting to make the elderly man’s wishes come true, the staff began to do some sleuthing, CBS News reported. Thanks to Jill Pawloski, the services director at the Vitalia Senior Residences in Strongsville, Ohio, Frank eventually got his wish.
After hearing the WWII vet’s story and how much the letter meant to him, Jill used social media to track down Dashauna Priest, who was all grown up. At 21 years old, Priest surprised Frank Grasberger with a visit — only made sweeter by the fact that she arrived wearing her National Guard uniform as she serves in the military just like Frank once did.
“Don’t make me cry, please. Honest to God. Oh, I love you so much. I really do,” an emotional Frank told Priest as he finally got to meet the little girl, who is now all grown up, during a tearful and heartwarming reunion. “You don’t know how long … I pray every night with this thing, I really do,” he continued becoming teary-eyed. “This is a godsend, it really is.”
The reunion was overwhelming for everyone. “I thought, ‘Where’s his heart pills?’ Because I thought, ‘This is it! This is the big one!'” Delores joked about her 95-year-old husband, who survived three heart attacks. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Instead, the incident only left hearts melted. “It started with a lot of love and affection,” Delores said, “And, it’s ending the same way.”
It appears the admiration was mutual as Dashauna Priest and Frank Grasberger now consider one another family. “There’s love there, deep down in the heart. She’s like my third daughter, she really is,” the WWII veteran said after finally being reunited with the girl he’d thought about often for over a decade.
“You can’t imagine the feeling I had when she stood next to me. It just took my breath away, it really did,” he added. “And, now, I met the girl that signed me the letter … and that is a real miracle,” Frank concluded. “That really is.” It’s a heartwarming miracle, indeed, and it really took such little effort to make an incredibly, huge impact on this veteran’s life.
From a simple note written by a schoolgirl to the efforts of the senior home staff in tracking her down, each did something rather “small,” but it certainly had a huge difference to Frank Grasberger. And, that’s a beautiful story. So, the next time you are considering a kind “little” gesture, go for it. You never know the significance a small act of kindness can have on the recipient. Just ask Frank.