Couple who met as Vietnam War pen pals married for over 50 years
KILLDEER, N.D. (KFYR/Gray News) - A North Dakota couple say the letters they wrote each other during the Vietnam War led them to each other and to 51 years of marriage.
Suzie and Wayne Wing began writing each other letters in 1967 after Wayne was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam as a generator operator. His sergeant sent a letter to his hometown newspaper in Texas, asking people to write to men in his unit, and Suzie saw it.
“My girlfriend and I decided ‘let’s write and just see what happens,’” said Suzie Wing, née Scarborough.
Suzie’s letters originally went to Sam McClusky, but when she sent a picture of herself, Wayne asked if he could write her back. The two ended up exchanging letters the whole time he was in Vietnam, KFYR reports.
The letters continued when Wayne Wing spent a year at Travis Air Force Base in California. When he got out of the service, he made a detour to Texas to see Suzie before returning to his family’s ranch in North Dakota.
The two lost touch when Suzie moved to Georgia, but one day, she decided to try and find Wayne. She sent a letter addressed to Wayne Wing in Killdeer, South Dakota, which wasn’t even the right state.
“I sent that letter with no zip code, no nothing. I just wrote it to Killdeer, South Dakota,” Suzie Wing said. “And he got it. Now, if that ain’t a sign from God saying we’re supposed to be together, I don’t know what is.”
Wayne Wing said Suzie’s letter was the answer to a prayer.
“I had prayed that if Suzie was still available, I’d like to find her. I prayed for that. And the next day, I got that letter,” he said.
“We just kept writing, and it wasn’t a mushy kind of lovey-dovey story. We were friends, just good friends and easy to talk to,” Suzie said.
But Wayne Wing knew he and Suzie were more than just pen pals.
“When I got that letter, I knew we were going to get married. I just had a feeling,” he said.
Wayne spent Christmas of 1971 visiting Suzie. A few months later, Suzie lost her job and decided to move to North Dakota.
“I had never been on a ranch. I didn’t know the difference between a horse and a cow,” she said.
But she knew she and Wayne were meant to be together. A month after she moved in March 1972, the two were married.
“It was meant to be,” Wayne Wing said. “I’ve always thought that.”
“For everything that went on between us to get us married, it was God’s work,” Suzie Wing said.
Now, 51 years later, they’re still just as in love as they were then. Their love story is written in those letters they sent, letters that are a reminder of what made them fall in love in the first place.
The Wings say they’ve tried to find McClusky several times over the years but haven’t had any luck. All they know is that he was originally from Missouri. If they could find him, they say they just want to thank him for letting Wayne write to Suzie.
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