USPS Carrier Drives 379 Miles on His Own Dime to Deliver Lost World War II Letters: 'Above and Beyond'

A veteran himself, Texas man Alvin Gauthier used his day off to make the trip to Arkansas for the special delivery

  • A Texas mail carrier recently reunited a woman with 80-year-old letters her brother wrote to their family while he was serving in the military

  • Alvin Gauthier knew the significance of the correspondence, having also served in the military

  • On his own dime, the postal carrier drove five hours to Arkansas to make the special delivery

A Texas postal carrier went hundreds of miles off his route to make a special delivery, reuniting a family with World War II-era letters sent from their loved one who was serving in the Army.

Grand Prairie USPS carrier Alvin Gauthier, a Marine Corps veteran, said he knew the importance of the cache of letters when they inexplicably landed in his work bag one day.

"I was getting ready for my route and found some letters that were dated back to 1942, so World War II," Gauthier told NBC affiliate KXAS-TV. "My main thought was I have to find this family."

Yet the letters offered few details except that they were addressed to a “Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lamb” who lived in Jacksonville, Arkansas, NBC affiliate KARK-TV reported.

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Gauthier contacted KARK-TV and with their help, the station was able to find Jo Ann Smith, whose brother was Marion Lamb, the soldier who wrote the letters which were addressed to their parents.

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The mail carrier of nearly 20 years then decided he would use his day off to take a road trip — about a five hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth area — to hand-deliver the special correspondence.

"I could have stuck them in the mail, but it's kinda like sometimes you have to go above and beyond," Gauthier said, telling KXAS he used his own money to pay for gas and a hotel. "Just go the extra mile ... or 379 miles."

Related: USPS Looking to Raise Price of 1st Class Stamps to 73 Cents, Which Would Be the 4th Increase in a Year

When the veteran arrived at Smith’s door with the letters, which were dated between 1942-1945, the Arkansas woman could hardly believe it.

“I’m very excited and very tearful,” Smith told Fox affiliate KLRT-TV about the moment. “For me, it’s a connection to my family.”

With her five older siblings now gone, the letters are reminders of the sacrifices her brother made. And Smith is thanking the postal carrier who went above and beyond to make it all happen.

“I just appreciate Alvin,” Smith told KLRT-TV. “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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