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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, December 31, 2009

A mother's Christmas prayer answered on base in Japan

The day I sent it (a Christmas package) I prayed,
"God, let this package find my son safe and healthy
and please let it give him a little bit of feeling of home."

Lance Corporal Garrett Storhoff and Corporal Anthony Rotert are shown with their Mount Ayr Record-News papers at the base in Japan where they ran into each other right before Christmas.

Here's a Christmas story to warm the heart even if the season is winding down with the new year right around the corner.

It's really Shelly ROTERT'S story to tell.

It's about her son, Anthony ROTERT, a Marine Corporal, who is stationed in Japan for this Christmas.

"I sent Anthony's package late this year (darn snow storm) and figured he wouldn't get it until after Christmas," ROTERT said. "The day I sent it I prayed, 'God, let his package find my son safe and healthy and please let it give him a little bit of feeling of home.'"

Anthony got his package on Tuesday, December 22. That was a record shipment in just six days.

He took his package to the chow hall and was looking at the pictures of his new nephew Nicholas TRIGGS.

"I also sent him all the Mount Ayr Record-News papers that I had saved since his last package," ROTERT said, noting that he likes to keep up on the Raiders.

"He's used to getting a hard time about his small town since most of the guys he hangs out with are 'city slickers,' but they all read the papers," ROTERT said.

He got up to get some more salad and when he was heading back to his table, there was a guy in a blue flight suit sitting in his chair, reading his paper and eating his food.

"Everyone who knows Anthony can just about imagine his face," his mother said. "He walks over to the table where his buddies are all laughing," ROTERT said.

Anthony used a couple of expletives to question what the dude reading his paper thought he was doing.

Then the fellow Marine lifted his head, looked at Anthony and commented on one of the wedding stories of a classmate.

It was Garrett STORHOFF, one of Anthony's very good friends from high school in Mount Ayr.

STORHOFF, a Marine Lance Corporal, is in Iwakuni, Japan for little bit, doing some training. He was just coming into the chow hall at the moment Anthony stood up to go get salad. The two hadn't run into each other before.

"I've got to tell you, Anthony got that little bit of hme that I asked for," his mother said. "Garrett and Anthony were over the moon with excitement of seeing each other and spent Christmas together.

"I just wanted to share the pictures they sent home tonight and wish you all a very merry Christmas," ROTERT said. "Mine is, and I'm very thankful."

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2012

To submit your Ringgold County news items,
contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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