Murrells Inlet woman finds 63-year-old love letter, tracks down its writer

MURRELLSINLET, S.C. (WCIV) - A Murrells Inlet woman has a new friend in Michigan aftershe found a love letter he wrote more than 60 years ago.

It's a storyabout how social media helped bridge a gap of many years and many miles.

One day,Sandi Blood bought a paperback novel at a used book store in Garden City. Whenshe opened it, something fell out.

It was alove letter dated November, 1951, from Army Private Gilles LeBlanc whostationed in Japan to his girlfriend Carole Petch in Toronto, Ontario.

Immediately,Blood was enchanted.

"I'm ahopeless romantic, as most of my friends will tell you and my husband too,"Blood said.

Much of theletter was about LeBlanc's Army life prior to shipping out to Korea, butthere's also this: "Honey you can't realize how much I love you and thinkand dream about being with you. It's hurting me all over."

Then hewrote about their wedding preparations.

Blood justhad to track him down.

"Ireached out to some Facebook friends. I figured that seems to be how things getdone nowadays," she said.

It didn'ttake long.

One of Blood'sfriends, a genealogy expert, saw the Facebook post, called her and asked for LeBlanc'smilitary ID number, which was on the envelope.

From there,it took only a few minutes for Blood's friend to track down the now 84-year-oldLeBlanc in Royal Oak, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.

"I feelwonderful about it. I think the lady in South Carolina is just wonderful,"LeBlanc said.

Blood calledLeBlanc Wednesday evening and the two chatted for about 45 minutes. She says hetold her that finding the old letter was "better than a case ofbeer."

The twotalked about his experiences during the early days of the Korean conflict, andabout the girl who became his wife after the war ended.

"Youget a 30-day leave at the end of your tour, so when I came home in December for30 days, we got married," LeBlanc said.

Yes, LeBlancand Petch got married and had six kids.

And thenthey got divorced in the 1970s, so it might not have been quite the storybookending Blood had in mind, but she says LeBlanc is delightful and a newfoundfriend.

"Hewants the letter back, so we're going to find a way to get that back tohim," she said.

LeBlanc'sdaughter has a condo in Garden City. She was the one who used the letter as abookmark in that old novel.

LeBlanc saidhe plans to visit his daughter in Garden City, and then he, Blood and hergenealogist friend can all get together.