A retired U.S. Army veteran and West Point grad who’s seen dozens of Army-Navy games in his lifetime may have just experienced the most special one yet.
Ed Dewey of Santa Barbara, Calif. went to the United States Military Academy, and in 1964 made a bet with midshipman Greg Horne that the Cadets would win the game. The loser would have to send the winner a parka from their school.
But when the Cadets won that year, Dewey never got the parka. He wrote a letter to Horne but was never able to reach him — at least not until 54 years later.
“Well I got a phone call about two weeks ago from this guy that tracked me down through the Army Association,” Dewey explained to local news outlet KEYT. “And he said ‘I’m the guy. I’m the Midshipman you made a bet with 54 years ago and never paid off.”
The Midshipman explained that he hadn’t found Dewey’s letter until this year, when he was cleaning out his mother’s house.
“So he wrote this letter to me,” Dewey went on. “It said ‘I’m very sorry, I just found [the letter]. And if you don’t mind, I can’t find a parka anymore but now I can find something to send to you.'”
And with it, he received a Naval Academy blanket with Horne’s class crest on it, as well as a personalized message that reads, “FOR A GREAT WIN.”
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The two also made a bet on this year’s game, where Army beat Navy 17-10. But Dewey felt so confident about the win that he told Horne to send the check early.
“I told him I’m not gonna wait 54 years,” Dewey said. “Because Army’s gonna kick Navy’s butt. And he should put the check in the mail now and send it.”