Local resident Vernon King was recently at North Kansas City Hospital when he and his wife, Ruth, struck up a conversation with some other people in the emergency room during their five-hour visit.

Vernon’s military experiences came up as part of the conversation, and apparently made a big impression with 13-year-old Hannah. Hannah later shared her feelings with Vernon in the following letter, provided to The Standard by Ruth.

Dear Mr. Vernon,

Thank you so much for your service. I offer you my deepest gratitude for risking your life for the common people like me, even when we abuse our freedom, and what it means to be an American sometimes.

I can’t even begin to imagine the awful things you had to go through and see, for people you’ve never met before. I know for a fact I could never do it, I’m not brave enough. Heck, I was terrified to give a speech about the United States Constitution in front of my class! I would be so scared, and miss my family so much! (Even my hibernating brother, he acts like a bear in a cave!)

I could never thank you enough Mr. Vernon. It is (due to) brave, honorable people like you that I am here today, still free to live my life the way I want. You and your wife are certainly heroes to me. I heard you received the Purple Heart Award not once but three times Mr. Vernon. I have one word to describe that—INCREDIBLE!!!

I hope you and your wife can forgive me for being so nosy, but you truly are an amazing person, and I am truly inspired by your story. Thank you so much.

Get well soon, Hannah

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