14 years ago, Donna Gregory was cleaning out her husband’s grandfather’s home when she found a box filled with WWII memorabilia. In that box was the War Department’s message to Pfc. John Eddington’s mother that told of his death in Italy in June of 1944. The box also contained his purple heart and a letter that Pfc. Eddington wrote to his then 4-month-old daughter telling her how much he loved her—even though they had never met. She was born while he was already in service to his country.
For the next 10 years, Donna tried in vain to find the daughter of this fallen soldier. This year, however, she decided to reach out on Facebook and managed to find the long lost daughter Peggy Smith who was living in Nevada.
Peggy had never met her father, as she was born shortly before he was deployed to Europe in World War II. This letter is the only connection to the man she never knew—but had thought about for so long.
Earlier this week, Donna left St. Louis in an SUV surrounded by a dozen motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard. She called the Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer organization best known for patrolling funerals of soldiers to shield grieving relatives from any protesters or trouble makers. The Patriot Guard Riders immediately agreed to help out and they set out on their journey to reunite a father with his daughter after 70 years of death.
Along the route different patriot riders will take turns accompanying Donna. In Carson City, Nevada a parade will begin tomorrow and make the trek to Dayton where Peggy will present the medal and the letter to Smith and her family—which includes 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
When the moment arrives—and Peggy receives the letter written from her father’s heart nearly 70 years ago, there will not be a dry eye in the house.
The Patriot Guard Motorcycle Riders
The Patriot Guard Motorcycle Riders are a volunteer organization of riders across the nation who remains committed to all those Americans who risk their lives for our freedom, including Veterans, Fallen Military Heroes, and First Responders.
At Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®, we love stories that highlight the goodness in humanity and the compassion that exists between two complete strangers. We applaud Donna for not giving up on her search and the Patriot Guard Riders for always being there for our fallen soldiers and their families.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the Russ Brown Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at 1-800-4-BIKERS today. We Ride—We Care—We Win!