A humble Harley Davidson dealership owner named Dennis Packee is going viral for a letter he wrote to a soldier’s wife. The soldier, named Christopher Walters, left his motorcycle in some rented space at Reiman’s Harley-Davidson before being deployed overseas. Christopher’s wife, Jaime, was supposed to stay on top of payments for the storage space while he was gone, but she recently fell behind.
Jaime sent in a check with her husband’s payment along with an apology note explaining why she was turning in the payment late. When Dennis saw Jaime’s note, he refused to accept her money.
“You send that money back to her!” he told his office employee. “I never, ever!”
It turns out, many years ago– during the Vietnam War– Dennis was nearly drafted but was discharged due to a medical problem. Since then, he’s been extra aware of the sacrifices made by our armed forces, and he’s always been looking for ways to give back.
That’s why accepting Jaime’s money was not only a problem for Dennis personally, but it was against a policy Dennis has upheld throughout his 18 years of ownership.
Dennis wrote back to Jaime, returning her money and explaining his dealership’s policy, then he went about his business thinking nothing of it.
Next thing Dennis knew, he began to be flooded with calls across the country from people thanking him. At first, he assumed the calls were from family members of the Walters family, but then he discovered they were strangers who had seen a photo of Dennis’ letter online. Dennis had no idea, but his message to Jaime had gone viral!
Dennis doesn’t even use Facebook and never expected all of this notoriety. But the attention didn’t just shock him, it moved him and restored his faith in America.
“It was impossible to answer them all. I got to thinking, this is America and people DO care. They care about their soldiers and they’re expressing that.”
“America is still America. I was a little worried about how our country was going, and to see people step forward in this way, it’s just enlightened me,” said Dennis. “A small effort like this, and look where it’s gone. Maybe more will do the same thing.”
If hope being restored was not enough, Representative Cheri Bustos and the Walters visited the store to present him with a Congressional Record Statement to, “…commend them for their service to our nation’s men and women in uniform.”