USPS carrier drives nearly 400 miles to deliver lost letters from WWII on his day off

A United States Postal Service mail carrier went the extra mile to return letters to the family of a soldier from World War II and provided some closure.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A United States Postal Service mail carrier went the extra mile to return letters to the family of a soldier from World War II and provided some closure.

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For about 20 years, Alvin Gauthier has been a letter carrier for the USPS, according to KXAS. He started with USPS when he was only 19 years old. Over time, it became more than a job to him. This past week he proved that dedication.

“I was getting ready for my route and found some letters that were dated back to 1942, so World War II,” Gauthier said, according to the news outlet. “Being a veteran myself, so I’m like man, this is some history! Because once again, mail boosts morale for all soldiers, so my main thought was I have to find this family.”

The letters were undelivered and were from 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945. All of the letters had a U.S. Army stamp on them, according to KARK.

“I don’t know how it got there (in his work bag filled with mail), I am clueless,” Gauthier said, according to the news station.

The only information he had was the name of the soldier, a military return address and an address in Jacksonville, Arkansas, that was a recipient’s address.

Gauthier reached out to KARK in Arkansas to get help locating who the letters belonged to. The station was able to track down Jo Ann Smith, People magazine reported. Smith’s brother was Marion Lamb and the letters were addressed to their parents.

On his day off, Gauthier got in his car, drove to Jacksonville with his own gas and hotel money and tried to find a day to deliver the letters himself from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to People.

“I’m very excited and very tearful,” Smith told KLRT about the moment. “For me, it’s a connection to my family.” Smith said her five siblings are now gone, People reported.

“I just appreciate Alvin,” Smith told the news station. “He has really gone out of his way and people connect on different levels and I feel as connected to Alvin as I do my family.”

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