Longview Marine Sends Thanksgiving Letter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview Marine Sends Thanksgiving Letter

A Marine's letter home from Iraq, gives an East Texas couple many reasons to be grateful on this Thanksgiving weekend.

Ritchie Stewart, 23, has been in the Marines for five years.  He missed Thanksgiving with his family, but he sent a letter home that more than made up for it.  Stewart's letter speaks of living each day to the fullest and being thankful for all of the things we take for granted.

"He loves his family.  He's doing it for us.  He's doing it for his friends.  He's doing it for his state.  He's doing it for his country.  That's why he's over there.  He's proud of what he does," said Wayne Stewart, Ritchie's father.

"It says love life," said Carol, Richie's mother.  Part of the letter read, "It's the number one thing I've taken from Iraq so far, is to love life.  You never know when it will be taken away."

"Ritchie's not telling us to be sad.  Ritchie is wanting us to be happy and live life, not just to take one day after another, find the things that matter the things that we forget," said Carol.

They naturally worry for his safety and those he serves with, but they feel his letter home has given them a true meaning of Thanksgiving.

"I'm so proud of him to give up everything he and the rest of them have given up to make this world a better place," said Carol.

"Love you, kid, so proud of what you're doing," said Wayne.

The Stewarts plan to surprise Ritchie when he comes home on leave in six months. His father is rebuilding a 1965 Ford Fairlane for his son to drive.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com



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