Speed Reads

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Letter mailed in 1945 finally makes it to soldier's family

It took 76 years for Army Sgt. John Gonsalves' letter to his mother to arrive, yet it seemed to show up at just the right time for the rest of his family.

Gonsalves penned the note on Dec. 6, 1945, while stationed in Germany after World War II. The 22-year-old wrote that he was doing "fine and getting along okay. But as far as the food, it's pretty lousy most of the time." The letter was supposed to go to his mother's house in Woburn, Massachusetts, but it got lost on the way, and was found last year at a U.S. Postal Service distribution facility in Pittsburgh. Workers there vowed to track down the Gonsalves family and finally deliver the letter.

John Gonsalves died in 2015, but USPS found his 89-year-old widow, Angelina Gonsalves, and gave her the letter. "Imagine that, 76 years," she told WXFT-TV. "I just, I couldn't believe it. And then just his handwriting and everything. It was just so amazing. It's like he came back to me." The letter arrived around Christmas, one of John's favorite times of year, and "it felt like he was around us," Angelina said. Her husband was "quite a guy," she added. "I still feel his presence."