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Family Finds Soldiers’ Letters

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – It could not have been better timing: a family found a box of old letters from soldiers to their parents in a crawl space. A Corvallis woman spent Memorial Day tracking down the soldiers’ family to return to them a piece of their history.

Kelle Judah of Corvallis spent Sunday cleaning out her aunt’s house in Forest Grove with her family. Her daughter and niece found a crawl space, where they discovered the box of letters.

“They were encased in mouse traps,” Judah said. “There was only one dead mouse!”

Inside the box were letters from the Andriesian brothers, Daniel and David. They sent dozens of letters to their parents who lived in Drain, Ore.

“This one is dated December 26, 1951, when David was in Korea,” Judah said.

The sons sent letters from around the globe while they were in the military from the mid-1940s to mid-50s.

“It’s a much milder winter than the last,” Judah said as she read one of David’s letters from Korea. “I just hope they get through with these peace talks. I’ll get home much quicker if they do.”

Judah was immediately determined to find the Andriesian family.

“This is important information for the family,” she said. “This morning when I got up, I decided I could get onto Spoeko.com and pay $15, and it gave me Lorraine’s name and phone number.”

With the help of her friends’ research, Judah learned that both the Andriesian sons have passed away. But Lorraine Andriesian, Daniel’s wife, is still in Oregon.

“I wanted her to be able to have them (the letters) on this day, which is why I was doing whatever I could do to figure out how to contact her,” Judah said.

On Monday morning, Memorial Day, Judah found Lorraine online.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “ I’m so excited to be able to give these to her. I can’t wait.”

A piece of history that connects the two families – Judah’s with the soldiers – whose mother moved to Forest Grove and lived in the same house as Judah’s aunt.

“I feel like it was just meant to be found for this day,” Judah said about the box of letters. “It’s like the boys are gone but the families are here and it’s like a gift for the family to be able to have a piece of the past.”

Within the next few weeks, Judah will meet with Daniel’s widow, who now lives in the Seaside area.

“I’m really happy that the boys can be honored,” Judah said. “They were soldiers. This is their day.”

Passing on the memories of two soldiers, whose thoughts will forever stay alive.

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