Heartland veteran wants to thank pen pal - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland veteran wants to thank pen pal

(KFVS) - They were simple words that gave him light in a dark time. A Heartland veteran wants to thank the pen pal he says helped put his service in perspective when he was serving overseas.

Tom Seematter served in Vietnam for 15 months.

In 1968, he received a note from a little girl in junior high school in California asking if they could be pen pals. He accepted and to this day he still remembers those letters.

"There was something inside of me that was just ready to explode," he said.

Tom Seematter says the Vietnam War took a toll on him both physically and emotionally but one day, he got a note that changed his outlook on life.

"I received a card from a student at a junior high school in Pasadena, Calif. asking if I would be her pen pal because her class had taken it on as a class project."

Seematter says he accepted and looked forward to those letters more than he thought.

"It was like a breath of fresh air from another world because Vietnam and America are two different worlds and that's the world I want go back to," he said.

After serving 15 months in Vietnam, Seematter returned home. One of first things he did was head to the flower shop and send his pen pal a dozen roses to show how much he appreciated her letters.

"To me that a classy. I put a note in there to have a nice life and thank you much for the letters," he said.

We asked Seematter what he would do if he ever got to meet his pen pal.

"The value of her letters was powerful and I would weep," he said. "I wouldn't be ashamed of it and I would hug her and I would say thank you because I appreciate that."

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