Jim Johnson saved every letter he got while serving overseas in Baghdad with the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
“We received these letters from these young kids. I held on to all of them,” said Johnson, who is now the sheriff of Ozaukee County in his home state of Wisconsin.
Recently, he was going through some of those old letters and stumbled upon one signed by a fourth-grader at Cedar Grove Belgium Elementary School in Wisconsin.
“Dear soldiers. Thank you for what you all do and are doing for our country. Best wishes and have a Merry Christmas. From Chris Uselding.”
The letter was dated 2003.
Fast-forward to 2018 and Chris Uselding is a grown man. And he’s been working as deputy for Johnson for the past few years.
Obviously, Johnson didn’t know that when he hired Uselding. But he was flabbergasted when he found the letter and the name while browsing through his old Army stuff.
He took the letter into work and showed Uselding, who at first didn’t believe it.
“I was thinking I sent it here, because it ended up in the sheriff’s office,” Uselding told Johnson, according to WDJT-TV.
“No, you sent it to a soldier in Baghdad, Iraq,” the sheriff said.
“I was kind of stunned (at) that, I don’t remember it at all so I was kind of stunned thinking back,” Uselding said.
“It’s crazy to think about that this letter touched Sheriff Johnson and he was able to share that with me and keep it for all these years,” Uselding said.
The sheriff added, “It makes you realize how small the world is. It truly does.”