Daughter Learns of Father Through WWII-Era Correspondence

Ginger Gregory was 4 years old when she last saw her father. Now more than 60 years later, she's getting the chance to know him. A father's love has endured through thoughtful words on paper.

"It's been quite and experience and I'm still learning," Ginger said of a letter she never thought she'd receive and learning about a man she knew very little about.

"I remember one night I was riding on his shoulders and the moon was really big and he taught me the poem, 'I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me,'" she said. "And every time I see a moon in full view, that's what I think about."

That man was Pvt. Robert Rutledge, and she was his little girl. "I was 4 years old when I last saw him and I was 5 when he was killed."

Pvt. Rutledge left to fight in WWII. He was only gone for six months, but during the time he was away he wrote dozens of letters. One he wrote to Ginger for her fifth birthday.

He was killed shortly after. Now his little girl is 65 and has heard his letter being read by the president of the United States in front of the entire world as he marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the war.

"I found out how much he loved my mother, how much he loved us, his family and his country," Ginger said.

And now 60 years later, she still relives the loss of her father every time she hears of a solider making the ultimate sacrifice. "When the second telegram came confirming his death, my mother just fainted," Ginger recalled. "Every time I hear of a casualty, I want to cry because I know those families are going through the same things we went through in 1944."

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com