It was 1996 and Robert Hemenway was 19, undergoing basic training for the military.
His younger brother Logan wrote him a letter, and 20 years later, Hemenway shared a photo of it on Reddit, on June 14.
“I was at basic training in Fort Knox, Ken., when I received the letter. When I got it, I was under an immense amount of stress, and it made me cry,” Hemenway, now 40, told the Huffington Post.
“The pure innocence of the statements were something that I really needed at the time.”
“Dear Rob, I love you so much. If you have a war and die, I hope you take this letter to heaven [because] I don’t want you to forget me. I love you very very much,” the letter from then-5-year-old Logan reads. “I got Nintendo games on Tuesday and I was happy and I hope you’re happy.”
The letter had been viewed over 1 million times on social media.
Hemenway said he was overcome with emotion upon reading Logan’s letter, according to the Huffington Post, making sure to add that his other siblings had also sent him letters.
He folded all of the letters and kept them in his wallet.
Now that Hemenway is out of the Army, the letters are stored away. It wasn’t until this year, when Logan was on his last day of his basic training that Robert sent the letter back to him. Logan is now 25.
“He couldn’t believe that I had kept the letter that long, but he was thankful,” Hemenway said.