Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 14, 2011

Hats off to Chet and Lee!

A charming couple set down at the table next to us at the Veteran’s Day Concert in Valley Center.  He looked so sharp in his WWII uniform.  We visited a bit then I asked to take their photo to share with you. Their story is so heart-warming, I thought many of you would enjoy it too. 

Chet and Lee just celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary.  They met while she was still in high school.  Lee was only 14 and Chet was an older guy at 19 with lots of girlfriends.  Lee noticed him first at their church when he was visiting friends.  That night at dinner, sitting around their family table with her 7 brothers and sisters, she told everyone, “That is the kind of guy I’d like to marry someday – cute and full of energy!”. 

Chet worked in a steel mill where Lee’s father also worked.  One day, her dad brought him home for dinner. Chet found himself around their table for lots of meals and enjoyed being with the family.  Before he left for the War, he asked Lee if she would write him.  

He survived the Battle of the Bulge, but was setting up a machine gun in Germany when the Germans sent one his way.  He later wrote Lee that he wouldn’t be going back home because he’d been burned and “looked like a zombie”.  That cute little high school girl encouraged him to come back, and after a couple of years of dating, when she was “old enough” at 18, they got married. 

His life would have been so different if she hadn’t said “it doesn’t matter how you look”.  It was a privilege to meet such a special couple.


  1. […] At our homeschool co-op, we saw a World War II veteran speak. His name was Chet Elliott. […]

  2. Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us. Mary C-T

  3. Thanks for the beautiful true story!

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