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An Ozaukee County fourth grader writes a letter to a soldier in Iraq who years later ends up being his boss

OZAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- This weekend the Ozaukee County Sheriff was organizing some of his keepsakes from his time serving in Iraq. That's when he found a letter from a fourth grader with a very familiar name.

That's because the name belongs to one of his current staff members.

Before becoming sheriff, Jim Johnson served roughly 14 months in Baghdad with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. That includes around Christmas-time.

"We received these letters from these young kids. I held on to all of them," Sheriff Johnson said.

"And then I came across a name that looked really familiar to me," Johnson said.

The letter reads: "Dear soldiers. Thank you for what you all do and are doing for our country. Best wishes and have a Merry Christmas. From Chris Uselding, a 4th grader at Cedar Grove Belgium Elementary School in Wisconsin."

It was 2003 when Uselding wrote those words. Now he's a deputy working for the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Johnson hired him just a few years ago - way before re-discovering the letter and putting it up at the department as a surprise.

"I was thinking I sent it here just because it ended up in the Sheriff's department," Uselding said.

"I said 'No, you sent it to a soldier in Baghdad, Iraq'," Sheriff Johnson said. "He goes 'Really?'. I said 'Yeah, you sent it to me'."

"I was kind of stunned that, I didn't remember it at all so I was kind of stunned thinking back," Uselding said.

"It's crazy to think about that this letter touched Sheriff Johnson and he was able to share that with me and keep it for all these years," Uselding said.

"It makes you realize how small the world is. It truly does," Sheriff Johnson said.

Sheriff Johnson said there was an employee at the school who had a previous connection to the Wisconsin Army National Guard - and that is why the students probably sent the letters.

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