This will make you smile.

Three years after the USO’s inception, troops were moving fast and furious into the Pacific theater to fight - and eventually win - victory over Japan. But in between those deployments, they were sending messages back home, too.

Yes, a few generations before the now-popular USO/United Through Reading Military Program relationship came to fruition, the USO was facilitating the recording of troops’ messages back home on 78-rpm records.

And according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, two of those records - created in 1944 - were discovered recently at a rummage sale in Milwaukee by a local musician named Steve Cohen:

As he went through them, he made a startling discovery — a mailing envelope that showed his grandmother’s name, Estelle Cohen, as the addressee. In the upper corner it said this was a “living letter,” and Uncle Neil was listed as the sender. … And here’s the good news: Neil Cohen is 86 and very much alive. Steve visits him once a week at the Milwaukee Catholic Home.

You can find out how Steve Cohen shared the surprise with his uncle - and hear the audio from the record - by clicking here.

–Story by USO Story Development