Spokane Valley couple awaiting long-lost letter from son killed overseas

A Spokane Valley couple who lost their son in Iraq is anxiously checking their mailbox. 

A letter their son wrote while on duty showed up thousands of miles across the country in an unlikely place. 

“He decided before he even graduated high school that he was going into the Marines,” said Mik Cole. 

Darrel Morris’ parents always supported that brave decision, even though it meant their son would be thousands of miles away overseas, risking his life. 

“I didn’t hesitate for one minute to say, do it,” said Kim Cole. 

Kim and Mik were always happy to get his letters. They stopped coming in 2007. 

“We were blessed to have that 21 years with him,” said Kim. 

Darrel was killed in an ambush in Iraq. His parents hold the albums of letters he sent them very close. 

“We can’t make new memories, so any piece we get from anybody is just so priceless,” said Kim. 

The day after Memorial Day, and hours before Darrel’s 35th birthday, Kim got a call that nearly took her breath away. 

A man in South Carolina found one of those priceless memories inside a book he bought at a thrift store. A letter Darrel wrote to a former girlfriend slipped out from one of the pages. 

“He almost put it in the trash and then saw it was from a Marine so he put it by his computer,” said Kim. 

Andrew Collins spent over a week researching Darrel, and tracking down his loved ones. He finally got in touch with the Coles. 

“Took the time to research and find out and get that to us. There’s something in his heart, too. That’s an angel right there,” said Mik. 

The letter is still on its way. Kim checks her mailbox several times a day. 

“I definitely know it’s a sign from him,” said Kim. 

“Darrel giving us a birthday present from him,” said Mik. “Thank you for remembering us.”

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