A letter from North Pole led to a very merry Christmas for Fort Wainwright soldier Ryan Patterson of the 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Indianapolis Star reported this week.
A huge fan of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Patterson got to meet his favorite athlete over the holidays thanks to a letter his wife, Kristen, wrote to Manning back in September.
During two deployments to Afghanistan, she wrote, Ryan followed Manning by setting his alarm for odd hours so he could watch livestream coverage of the games.
But Kristen forgot to include a return address or phone number in her letter, so Manning and the Broncos enlisted the services of a telephone utility and the Alaska State Troopers to track her down, long after she wrote her letter. The Pattersons had plans to be in Cincinnati the week of the Broncos-Bengals game, so a surprise meeting the night before the game was arranged.
“He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska,” Ryan told the Indianapolis Star. “He said, ‘You guys are really hard to find.’ Before he left he shook my hand and thanked me for my service one more time, and I thanked him for being my quarterback.”