MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - A woman discovered an important letter dating back to the 1940s. Now, she's sharing it in the hopes she can get it back home.
"Unless you've been a military family, you might not understand just how connected military people are," said Catherine Ross of Murfreesboro. "Family is home."
Minutes after the story aired, a person called saying they were a family member. They are working with Ross to get the letter.
With two sons who have served in the Army, Ross knows both the fear and pride that comes with being a military mom.
"My husband was Army, so I don't know any other way of life," she said.
That's why it's so important to her to get what she found back to a family.
Ross buys storage units. In one unit, she found a flag and bullet shells in a case, a Bible in a box and a letter from New York written to a mother in Lebanon. The letter is dated 1948.
Ross read from the letter.
"Dear Mrs. Sanders, as mayor of the city of New York, and on behalf of the citizens of this city, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family of PFC Clarence A. Peak, who so honorably gave his life so that others may enjoy peace and freedom. I trust and pray his sacrifice will not have been in vain."
"It's addressed to Mrs. Maggie W. P. Sanders of Hunters Point Pike, Lebanon, Tennessee," Ross continued.
Ross said she doesn't remember specifically which storage facility she got the items. She believes it could be a facility in Lebanon.
She said getting it back home could be a challenge. Hunters Point Pike in Lebanon is huge with many people living along that stretch. Ross also wondered if any family connections could still be there decades later.
She has some leads. A site called WW2 Fallen 100 is dedicated to fallen World War II soldiers. It carries a picture of Peak and some information.
"It was likely that Peak succumbed to wounds during Anzio fighting," said Ross. "Anzio, that was a big battle. Clarence Peak was with the 45th Infantry."
There are missing pieces of the story. If Peak died in World War II, why was the letter from years later in 1948? Why did the letter come from New York?
Ross hopes by sharing the letter, she'll find out and get it home to the family of Clarence Peak.
"This could've been me getting this letter," said Ross. "It's the letter nobody wants to get. It just belongs with that family. It really needs to go home, not be abandoned. It'll have a home here until someone finds it."
After the story aired on News4, a family member reached out to the newsroom to say that it was her uncle, the brother of the family member’s great-grandmother.