James Wiitamaki , or “Jimmy,” as his family calls him, served his country overseas but now lives alone in a VA hospital.
The proud veteran, who had been posted in Germany, didn’t tell relatives that he’d placed an advertisement in his local Minnesota newspaper, announcing he was dying from cancer and asking people to write to him.
The notice was short and succinct: “James Wiitamaki is dying from cancer at St. Cloud V.A. Hospital. He would like to receive letters from people.”
And receive them he did.
“I think Jimmy is going to be busy reading for quite some time,” his great-niece, Brenna Glodowski, posted to Facebook last week.
And then even more missives poured in, from places as near as the same town, and as far away as New Zealand.
“I hope he will know that he has a brother in Georgia. Even though we are not blood kin, he is my brother as a vet,” wrote Chris Marcus on Glodowski’s page.
“My great-uncle put this in the newspaper, unbeknownst to us, “ Glodowski posted above a photo of the newspaper ad. “If anyone has a few minutes to send a card, I think he would be more than ecstatic to receive it.”
Even more people weighed in on a Twitter drive Glodowski started, including U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
“Minnesotans look out for one another, especially when they need it most,” Franken posted Wednesday. “James Wiitamake, my note to you will be in the mail shortly.”
His grand-niece did not give Wiitamake’s age or say which war he fought in. A message left with her by InsideEdition.com was not immediately returned Wednesday.