Phillip Griego, a Vietnam veteran, reminisces of the letters he shared with his wife.(U.S Air Force video/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)
Deployed to Vietnam on a one-year deployment, Phillip Griego exchanged letters nearly every day with Ramona, his then girlfriend and love of his life. It was the only consistent form of communication while each other were on different sides of the world.
“The mail that I got from [her], they helped take me out of the war,” Griego said. “There were times when I thought I wasn’t going to make it.”
He did, and when Griego returned home from Vietnam, he married Ramona. The couple eventually had three daughters, who moved from base to base with them throughout Griego’s Air Force career.
Griego retired from the Air Force in 1991, after 21 years of service. As a civilian, he became a mail assistant at the Official Mail Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, located in Tucson, Ariz.
Then, in December of 2010, Griego’s life changed forever. Ramona, his life and love, passed away, leaving Griego with his daughters and eight grandkids.
It’s a day he is still trying to deal with.
“It kills me inside,” he said. “I’m dying because I need to be with her.”
Though gone, Griego still makes it a priority to see Ramona every day.
“I visit her twice a day on weekends and holidays,” he said, “and at least once a day on workdays.”
Griego still goes day-to-day loving his wife more and more and knows that one day he’ll see her again.
“She always used to tell me that, ‘God will find a way to get us together again,’” Griego said. “And I believe that with my whole heart. Nobody can take that away.”