A Vietnam war veteran has been united for the first time with a woman who sent him a Christmas card while in elementary school almost fifty years ago.

John Metzler was serving in Vietnam as an Army helicopter gunner when he got a Christmas card from DonnaCaye Ludemann Sica, who was in sixth grade at the time, according to CBS News.

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Metzler still keeps the letter to this day, and Sica flew to Metzler’s hometown in Idaho to surprise him in person.

"Fact is, I think it means more today than it did when I got it," Metzler said.

Metzler, who was 23 when he received the letter, said being thanked for his service kept him going through tough times.

"When you got up in the morning you always wondered whether you would see the sun go down at night," he said.

Metzler was shocked when meeting his long-lost letter-writer in person.

“You’re real,” he said when he first saw her.

Sica said she felt honored to be able to write to a service member personally, and did not hesitate when given the chance to meet Metzler in-person.

"I remember writing the letter," she said. "I was amazed that I could have the opportunity to write to a serviceman and maybe make his life a little simpler for a couple of minutes."