WWII vet Frank Grasberger, a resident of VITALIA Senior Residences – Strongsville, was recently formally introduced with a (now-grown) little girl named DeShauna Priest, who wrote him a letter 12 years ago thanking him for his service. The meeting brought a tear to the eye of all who witnessed it, the two immediately bonding like family as they got to know one another.
The meeting was arranged by Jill Pawloski, the Resident Services Director at VITALIA, and was also attended by Frank’s wife, Dolores, who embraced DeShauna as family, as well. The meeting was touching and it went viral on TikTok!
The story has also gained the attention of national news outlets, some of which have written articles on the story. Via Fox8.com:
Priest’s letter was part of a batch sent by her third-grade class in 2009. Grasberger received it on his way home from an honor flight in Washington D.C. When he read it, he was so touched that he’s kept it close at hand ever since.
His wife, Dolores, contacted Priest’s school and sent her the card, thanking her and telling her about Grasberger’s life and military service. But they were never able to find her and meet her in person.
When Vitalia resident services director, Jill Pawloski, learned of the story, she turned to social media and was able to finally find her.
When Priest got the message from Pawloski, she was emotional herself. Her mother kept the card she’d received in a memory box, and she still has it.
“I just started crying, I had to go and tell my mom,” she said.