Decatur veteran goes viral and receives worldwide support

Decatur -- A local World War II veteran is recovering from a recent injury with help from around the world.

Franklin Callaway is a World War II hero, and he has a Purple Heart to prove it. Now, decades after the war, the lessons he learned in battle are being put to the test.

"You know the quote is once a Marine, always a Marine," said Callaway. "I still am a Marine, and I'm going to win this battle, with this leg."

In late March, Callaway fell and shattered his right femur, an injury that is not easily overcome by a 91-year-old. So his daughter started brainstorming with her daughter about how to lift his spirits and get him back on his feet.

"She put something on Facebook saying 'Gramps is a hard charger, but he could use some support,'" said Leesa Reed, Callaway's daughter. "And then her husband decided to post it on this website called Crusty Old Veterans and I thought, 'that's just an awesome job, let's show some support to Dad, let's show him how much we love him.'"

Thanks to the power of the Internet, a lot of love has been shown. In just over a week, Callaway received 185 letters of encouragement from as far away as Afghanistan, and he reads each and every one.

"And every one of them increases my faith," said Callaway. "So my faith is overflowing right now. And I know as they keep coming, that faith will keep building in me, to bring about what needs to be done in me."

And give him the same strength that made him the survivor he is.

"We never give up, Marines never give up," said Callaway. "So here I am, four weeks later, in a lot better shape than when I came."

To send a letter of encouragement to Callaway, address your note to:

Frank Callaway in c/o
Hickory Point Christian Village
565 West Marion Ave
Forsyth, IL 62535

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