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On Happening Now, we heard from the family who received their Marine son's letter from Iraq 11 years after it was sent.

The Roanoke, Virginia, family was shocked to find the letter in their mailbox a few weeks ago. It was dated March 14, 2005 and sent from a “free mail combat zone.”

For some reason, the letter was never postmarked for delivery in Greensboro, North Carolina, until January 2, 2016.

Jenna Lee discussed the moment with the Craig family: Daniel, Edith and their son, 40-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. Lynn Craig, who came home OK from Iraq and is still part of the Marine Corps Reserve.

Staff Sgt. Craig recalled that when he was deployed, he didn't get to write home very often.

David said when the family received the letter, it was already opened. 

As for what might have happened to the letter, the Roanoke Times reported:

There’s no way of knowing what happened in transit from Iraq to Roanoke, or how many people touched that letter over the years, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley.

Occasionally, Kelley said, a letter will be found stuck in a piece of equipment or a truck. And when it’s discovered, it’s delivered.

“When we receive a letter like this, regardless of how old it is, we’re the United States Postal Service and our mission is to deliver,” Kelley said.

The fact that the letter was coming from a conflict zone may have led to complications in its delivery, he said.

Simply put, sometimes letters are lost. But it’s “very, very rare” for them to go missing for this length of time. Lynn’s letter is an anomaly, Kelley said.

Watch the full interview above.


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