For the beginning of the story as we started our search for my grandfather’s US Army Ranger buddy’s family click here.
For the part of the story where we made contact with another Taiwanese man who graduated from US Army Ranger school with my grandfather click here.
A few weeks ago my grandfather received the most beautiful email from General Lee’s son-in-law. As Scott and I read it we cried and we continue to thank God for letting us be a part of this experience. With permission, I have included the email below.
Dear Mr. Hayden,My name is Jack (name changed) and my wife’s father is Gen. Lee Chien-Chung (ROC Army, ret.), who I understand was a classmate of yours at the US Army Ranger School. I am writing this letter on behalf of my father-in-law.The unexpected visit by your granddaughter and her husband in Taiwan was a source of much joy and excitement for my father-in-law. He shared with my wife and me snippets of his interactions with your granddaughter and her husband. He remarked about the loveliness of your granddaughter and how her husband had demonstrated his love for her in every way. He also spoke of your lovely great-grandchild. He told us about how he was warmed by the fact that your granddaughter and her husband had gone to Taiwan for the first time because you had asked them to seek out your Ranger School buddies. Even more amazingly is the fact that you had instructed your granddaughter and her husband to have a laptop ready for cross-Pacific Skype conversations! My father-in-law was also excited and proud of how he used his rusty English to communicate with you, and for over one hour! He believed firmly that you were both able to transcend the language barrier to rediscover the days of your youth.Before his most recent encounter with you, my father-in-law had always spoken with great affection about his days in the Ranger School. He is very proud of his achievement as one of the few Taiwan military officers to have successfully graduated from this intense training program. It has been very clear to me that this was an experience that he holds close to his heart. As far as I can see, your recent conversation with him allowed him to reminisce with more emotion and at a greater depth of feeling about that experience than at any other time since he left the Ranger School. In a nutshell, you have allowed him to travel down memory lane and relive that moment in his youth with an unprecedented depth of emotion. For this, he is very grateful to you.However, notwithstanding all the emotion that was associated with this latest encounter, my father-in-law is even more honored by your effort to seek out your Ranger School buddies from afar after all these years. To him, you have demonstrated the highest level of friendship by your action and you can be assured that you have his greatest affection and respect. If you are ever in Taiwan, my father-in-law would be honored to meet you in person and to extend his hospitality.Thank you for this opportunity for me to share in this wonderful encounter. If in the future you would like for me to relay any message to my father-in-law, it will be my honor to do so.Respectfully,Jack (name changed)