The daily letters sent by Lloyd and Marian Michael during World War II meant everything to the couple—and probably nothing to the burglar who swiped them 40 years ago out of a storage shed in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
As reported in the Daily Bulletin, the couple received a call from a veteran who said he had the letters. The man, who is not believed to have been involved in the robbery, had tracked down the couple based on Lloyd Michael's military service number. How the veteran got the letters remains unclear.
The letters came back to the Michaels in time for their 70th wedding anniversary, in December.
The stacks of missives had been stored in a steamer trunk and closed with a lock “to keep the kids out,” Marion Michael, 88, said with a laugh.
"Neither one of us can read them. We break down too quick," Lloyd Michael, 89, added.
The two met in high school. They spent their first date at the Fox Theater in Pomona. They married on Dec. 31, 1942. Shortly after, Lloyd Michael joined the Army Air Corps. He served as a mechanic in England, France and Belgium.
One of the many letters reads,
Dear, I was in London the other day, it is really quite a place. I saw Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey… the House of Parliament and other interesting places. I have also seen the bombed out areas. Maybe someday we can come together and see all these wonderful places.
Eventually, the two did, in 1982.
All the letters, hand-written on airmail stationary, include a censor stamp.
Sounding close to tears, Lloyd Michael said, “Well, at least they came home, where they belong.”
His wife added that seeing the letters “brings back lots of memories.”
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- Marion Michael