Letters of SC soldier killed in Vietnam come home

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Four letters from a South Carolina soldier who served in Vietnam have been returned to his family more than 40 years after his death.

Military representatives of the Army's 101st Airborne Division presented the letters from Sgt. Steve Flaherty of Columbia to his uncle and sister-in-law during a ceremony Saturday.

Flaherty was killed in combat in Vietnam in 1969. Vietnamese soldiers took the letters after Flaherty's death. They were turned over to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month when he visited Vietnam.

Flaherty's uncle said it was a miracle the letters have turned after all this many years.

The family is donating the letters to a South Carolina military museum that is planning an exhibit honoring the nearly 1,000 South Carolinians who perished in the conflict.

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