Ninety-eight-year-old Alleen Cooper has been sending letters to troops overseas since World War II — and she’s not about to stop.
“I’ve decided I’m going to write as long as I can,” she recently told Inside Edition, in a viral video that’s now melting the Internet’s heart.
Matching each soldier’s bravery with her own dedication, Cooper makes sure each of the letters is about four pages long, and that they’re all unique in their own way. In the video, she shows one letter where she even drops a “TTYL” at the end. It’s “short for ‘talk to you later,’” she explains — for anyone who’s unfamiliar.
Over the years, the letters have brought comfort to many soldiers in their most challenging moments, especially those who don’t receive much mail. As she recalls in the video, “One in Florida, he had to have a new ear, and I’m sure he was very, very depressed.”
She also wrote to her own son while he served in Vietnam — a traumatic experience for which he later suffered from PTSD, according to WBTV.
One marine Cooper wrote to, Staff Sgt. Chris Cantos, was recently connected with her in person. Cantos received handwritten letters from Cooper while he was serving in Afghanistan in a remote area without wireless Internet and minimal means of contact. But he says her notes were a bright spot amid the darkness.
“She would always send us clippings and jokes,” Cantos told WBTV, “[and] would tell us about her day.”
Unsurprisingly, Cooper has also collected a lot of mementos and gifts over the years from the various soldiers she’s written — all as a thank you for her service.
What a sweetheart!
h/t: Inside Edition