This is the letter sent to David on 2/3/08. Names have been left out for their protection as we did not know how to get permission from the writer to post the letter.
Perhaps you do not remember me, but it matters not. My name is_____ and my brother introduced us on family day in the museum at the recruit depot in San Diego. I am writing this letter because I must describe to you my deep and profound gratitude for who you are. Had I but known who you were when we were introduced I would have taken the opportunity to express myself face to face, but as it is this shall have to suffice. You must think this the oddest letter ever written by now, but I pray you bear with me for a few moments and I shall make all quite clear.
My brother, I believe was in your platoon during boot camp and like most of ya'll, was infinitely changed for his time there. My entire family, even back a number of generations, is very devoted to Christ and thus my brother and I were taught from a very young age to love and serve Him. While I sought and found the Lord early in life, I am grieved to report that 'twas not so for my brother. Throughout our teenage years he continuously turned his back on the Lord and us. I say this not to speak ill of my brother, indeed, I love him tremendously; but to show you how you have been the answer to my prayers in a very significant way.
The marines was sort of our last hope for him, we knew not what else to do. I cannot even begin to depict for you the numerous nights I spent in tearful prayer for my beloved baby brother. When he left for boot camp my most fervent prayer was that in his platoon would be at least one man who would know the Lord and be not ashamed to live the gospel out for all to see, even in such situation as boot camp offers to forsake the teachings of Christ. I prayed that such a man would be an example to my brother and that he would yearn to be such a man himself.
Here, I come to the part where you fit in. As we were eating lunch that day and my brother began to tell us of the guys in his platoon, he spoke with great respect in his tone of one who wanted to be a missionary. He talked of how you deserved his respect not only for your high physical training scores but also in lieu of the fact that you were the one in all his platoon who was not a hypocrite. You earned his esteem for living a blameless life in front of him. Thank you. It took tremendous effort on my part to keep my eyes dry during his speech for indeed, I knew that you were a direct answer to my prayers on his behalf.
I know what it is to be in an environment that does not foster the kind of attitude and lifestyle Christ calls us to, thus I wish to thank you from the depths of my heart for remaining faithful and being not ashamed. It is not often in such times that we know the impact we are having on the lives and hearts of those around us and it can be easy to become discouraged and like Elijah, think we are the only ones. I do not know if you struggle in such a manner, but I wish to dispel such a notion on my brother's life therefore my own also! For this I thank you and praise God that others may see Him in you. I am afraid my vocabulary falls piteously short, but I pray the Lord reveals to you the depth of my gratitude and that he blesses your life infinitely as you continue to walk in His ways and let your light so shine before men. Until He does so I shall let Paul's words speak for me.
"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith (thank you for having been so), so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you,brother,have refreshed the hearts of the saints."
Most gratefully and sincerely,