Pay It Forward
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- PAY IT FORWARD: William Lett
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PAY IT FORWARD: William Lett
Updated: Thursday, February 13 2014, 05:57 PM CST
A retired soldier wanted to help out the widow of a fellow brother-in-arms.
"Pay it Forward" thanks to the help of Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep.
A new year.
A new sign.
Find someone who wants to help someone else with the surprise of 500 dollars.
"Her name is Mary and she lost her husband last year."
Someone like William Lett.
Lett retired from the US Army after 24 years of service and a tour in Vietnam, settling here in Pensacola in 1969.
Lett says it's every American's responsibility to take care of our veterans, but even more important for veterans to take care of one another both on and off the field of battle.
"When he over there, trying to fight a way, he can't worry about home."
"He can do a better fighting job for his country than he can worrying about two things at once."
That's why he wanted to Pay it Forward to his neighbor, Mary Burke whose husband also retired from the Army after serving as a Paratrooper in the Vietnam conflict and Korean War.
"He went in in 1948, at fifteen."
He was underage. But he wanted to serve our country.
He also was shipping out, but he wanted Mary to be his bride.
"He kept writing for me to marry him."
And he wouldn't give up.
"The phone bill was unbelievable; he called collect."
After a whirlwind wedding , four sons, retiring from the Army, 20 years of teaching ROTC and countless smiles and memories, Mary lost Bob last year after nearly 59 years of marriage.
And true to his commitment, William keeps an eye on his fellow soldier's sweetheart, now that Bob no longer can.
"I feel if I needed something, in emergency, that I can call on them."
"She can come right across the street, we'd be there for her."
But this time, William went to her - with us in tow.
"But what is this for? I didn't do anything." "You don't have to do anything."
"On behalf of Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, I'd like to give you this money, William, for your friend Mary."
"I'm in shock. I'm just in shock about it."