John's Seacoast NH Real Estate Blog


I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

In early July 2011, I admit, we did something most people would consider a very foolish thing. We let a total stranger in our house.

It was a Sunday morning and my Chris and I were about to pull out of the driveway on our way to find breakfast at a yet to be determined restaurant, when I noticed a car was pulling over to the side of the road opposite our driveway. I asked Chris to roll down her window as I expected the solitary gentleman in that car might have a question or perhaps need directions.

"Do you live here?" the fortyfive-ish stranger asked,
"Yes we do," Chris replied.
"This is the house where I grew up," he said. "Could I visit for a minute. I won't take much of your time. I can see you are on your way out."
With that, I stepped out of the car and said, "Why don't you pull into the driveway and get your car off the road."

In the next minute, we were shaking hands in the driveway and he introduced himself as Pete Martin. He asked if the Kelleys still lived next door and pointed to the second floor bedroom that was his and described how the chimney ran right up through the middle of the room. I asked if he would like to tour our home. He happily agreed.

As we passed through each room, Pete shared some little memory about the room and about the house and asked if the lilacs were still behind the house where he had buried his much loved dog. I showed him that the lilacs, and most likely his dog, had been relocated to another part of the yard to make room for the pool that we now enjoy. Through this stroll down memory lane, Pete shared a bit about his life.

Pete told us he had retired from a military career in the Air Force and now lived in Tennessee. After over twenty years of service, he was still not ready to give up flying and serving our country, so he worked for a Government contractor flying special operations forces in combat missions over Afghanistan, and tomorrow, he would be on a plane going back there and not returning until September.

Out of pure coincidence, he was visiting a friend in Londonderry, NH and asked if he could borrow his car to drive over to North Hampton in the hope we might be home when he knocked on our door. He had made this drive some years earlier, and we were not home. :-(

When we finished the tour of the house, Pete asked us if we could take a few pictures of him with his mobile phone and we took a few with our camera. We exchanged email addresses to stay in touch. As he was getting ready to leave, Pete made it clear, that by inviting him, a total stranger, into our home, we had given him something he would never forget. We had given him, the WORLD....and yesterday, well, he turned around and gave it back to us, in a way I know I will never forget.

While I was at my first showing yesterday, Chris called me on my cell and told me we had received a package from Afghanistan from Pete. I could not get home fast enough from the showing.

Seated at the kitchen table, Chris handed me the package and asked me to open it. Inside, was an American Flag, a copy of the Stars and Stripes daily newspaper published for members of the military, a copy of the July 2011 edition of Freedom Watch Afghanistan magazine and the following letter and special presentation:

Letter From Pete Martin

American Flag

Special Presentation

Pete on Front Stairs

Now, most of you know I am a Pease Greeter at Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH, welcoming our troops home from duty or sending them overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan. If you enjoy freedom, thank someone in the military. Maybe you could stop by Pete Martin's Facebook page and thank him. I know that's where I'm headed as soon as I publish this blog.

If you would like to know why I chose Seacoast New Hampshire to make my home, click here to email me, and I can make a real convincing argument for you to choose it too! Or, if you would like to do your own home search, sign up NOW on my website for our exclusive Home Scout Program. Registered & Protected

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         John McCarthy

         Your Seacoast NH Realtor

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         Portsmouth, NH 03801

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Comment balloon 154 commentsJohn McCarthy • August 14 2011 11:28AM


This is very beautiful and moving.  Our troops are an amazing group of men and women that make me truly thankful for my life here in the United States.  Thank you for sharing this!

Posted by Kym Wright (Prudential California Realty) over 8 years ago

What an amazing and touching story.. Thank you so very much for sharing and for opening your hearts to this man... My husband and I are doing a Limited Edition 1967 Green Beret knife ( to honor his late father Dan Dennehy, knifemaker and retired Navy and the late Lt. James F. Godsey (Special Forces) who was KIA at age 25.

We want to thank all our military members who serve now and have served this country...

Posted by Sherilyn M. Whistler, Need a Referral, Call Me ! (ERA Herman Group Real Estate-NoCo) over 8 years ago

Hi, John
What a great story.  Years ago, I visited my boy hood home on Long Island, in NY.  I drove back and forth in front of the house, because it had been extensively remodelled and I wasn't quite sure if it was the property.  The owner was doing yard work, in the front yard and he came over and said, "Can I help you."

I said, "I believe this is the house where I first grew up."  He said, "What is your name?"  I said, "Eric".  With that, he started shouting, "You're the Eric... You're the Eric."   He started running toward the house, motioning for my wife and I to come in.

He took me to the backyard, and then I remembered.  My Dad and Grandfather had built a large redwood balcony on the second level of the home.  In the footings, when they poured the cement, they had all of the kids (six of us) write our names in the cement.   He knew I was one of the children, because of my name.

A flood of memories came back to me, especially about my Grandfather and I broke down in tears.  It was quite a time to visit with him and your story reminded me of this.  Have a great Sunday. 

Posted by Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®, Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona (DPR Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

WOW John,

That was a great story. we don't often find someone like that.

A totalstranger with a heart. And was telling the truth.

Hard to find these days.

All the best my friend.

Clint Mckie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 8 years ago

Hi Kym - Thank you for stopping by to appreciate it. The Pease Greeters is a wonderful organization that supports our men and women in active duty. My first post here on ActiveRain was about joining this organization. Its Not Just About Real Estate...Is It?  The Amercian Flag that Pete sent kind of says it all. Hope you have a great Sunday.

Sherilyn - What a great way to honor John's father and Lt. James F. Godsey. I would love to see it when you are finished...maybe you could write a blog about it!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Hi Eric - Wow, yours is a wonderful story too. Amazing how we keep childhood memories so close.

Good Morning Clint - So glad you came to visit. When Pete and I shook hands, I knew he was a good soul. I'm so happy we were home for him this time. I was in such a hurry to get this posted, I forgot to include a photo of Pete. I'm going to add it now. Hope you enjoy your Sunday.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Of course I'm crying...  love these stories and I love our military.  Thank you for your volunteer service at Pease, it is so important.  And especially in this climate we need to support our military.  I wish we did so like they did in past wars - without hesitation.

Posted by Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST (License # 01767321) over 8 years ago

What an incredible story and quite moving.  Your hospitality and just plain good nature opened up a flood of opportunity and humanity I know you, Chris & Pete will never forget.  Let us never forget our service men and women. God Bless You!


Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Linda - Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. I love the work at Pease. Whether you agree with our policy overseas or not, it is critical we let our soldiers know that we support THEM.

Hi John - Thank you as well. I'm glad we were home this time for Pete when he stopped by. He is in Afghanistan for all of us! When I finished college, I lived in Albuquerque for a bit...1948 Lena Drive. Traditional stucco with vigas at the roof and guest house attached by an arch. From Google Earth, I've seen the guest house is gone. Too bad. Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Very touching and heart warming story were right, it brought tears to my eyes, tears of joy for what you did for Pete and how he showed his appreciation.  Nice!

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 8 years ago

Hi Roger - It brought tears to mine as well. The American Flag and the mission..."I'm proud to be an American." Hope your Sunday is a day of rest for you, my friend.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John- what a story and I wish we had more of these.  That was kind of you to take the time to show him your home and I wonder how many would do that in the age in which we live.  And, I'm going over to his page as well.  There is never enough we can say or do to thank any one who has or is serving our country. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

John ~  We need good stories like this posted more often.  It was very touching and thank you for sharing it with all of us.  What an awesome surprise you got from him in the mail.  Something to treasure forever. 

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Kathy - Thank you for stopping by! It was worth the risk. I just knew from the first moment. I am honored to have him for a friend. Thank you for visiting his fb page...he is a long way from home.

Hi June - It's a pleasure to share a story like this with 212,000 of my closest friends. Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago
Great and moving story. What a really neat expression of gratitude.
Posted by Jean Singleton, Specializing in Your Special Needs (Capital Realty Experts) over 8 years ago

Hi John, I have driven by my childhood home a time or two and always wondered if I would be let in if I ever knocked on the door. Perhaps next time I will. This is a perfect Pay it forward in every sense of the way. Chris and your kindness in letting Pete tour his childhood home was gracious..even more so when you were on your way out and could have easily driven right by and I'm thinking many would. Yes, tears for sure. You've made a new friend for life by a simple act of kindness. Very cool John.

Posted by Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate (Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon) over 8 years ago

Thank you John - yes I am going to write a blog that will get posted this evening referencing your VERY touching story and our military men and women.  As requested in your comments - here is the finished knife we just sent out to a USAF Commander (#2 of 25). They are a limited edition (only 25 will be made) custom ordered knife. 

Posted by Sherilyn M. Whistler, Need a Referral, Call Me ! (ERA Herman Group Real Estate-NoCo) over 8 years ago

Hello Jean - Thank you for finding this post today. I can't thank Pete enough. He is one of my heroes for  sure. That American Flag he flew on his mission will be treasured by Chris and I all our lives.

Hi Cindy - Glad you came by today too! My childhood home is still in our family and owned by one of my two sisters. Pete admitted he didn't have any idea what he was going to say until the moment we spoke. Miranda Lambert wrote a song that captures the feeling of returning to one's childhood home. This YouTube link will take you to her very touching video: The House That Built Me  Better grab a box of Kleenex first. ;-)

Sherilyn - Thank you for posting the photo of the commemorative knife you and your husband crafted. Looks like there will be 25 pieces of art when you finish this series. I visited the website earlier and found the story about Dan passing his designs and craftsmanship on to John very touching. I will keep my eye open for your blog this evening and promise to come by.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago
John, that was a really nice story and a wonderful gesture to allow Pete to enter your home and share his memories.
Posted by Karen Baker, Professional Help with Rapid Responses... (Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty) over 8 years ago

Wiping the tears as I comment.  How beautiful.  I can only imagine how you felt when you received such a precious gift!

I couldn't believe it when I saw this post, because yesterday I had a similar experience.  My nephew recently bought a home and his mother (my sister) is going to be moving in with him for awhile.  She was having a yard sale at the home and I was there to help her.  A man showed up at the end when we were cleaning up.  He not only grew up in the house, but his dad built it, in 1960, and he was hoping he could walk around.  He shared so much history, and his stories were worthy of a movie.  We spent about an hour with him.  The most emotional part was when we were standing in what is now the baby's room and he told us that it was his parents room and that his mother had died there.  She had cancer, he knew she didn't have long so he spent the night at the house to be with her.  When he got up the next morning, she had passed.  I had goosebumps.  He had tears in his eyes as he told us.   By the time he left he said he felt like he knew us for years and he was so grateful that we let him in the house.  He just kept thanking us and saying "you have no idea how much this means to me."  

I did know how much it meant to him because I've driven past my childhood home many times wishing to stop and go in.  I told him his visit was going to give me the courage to someday knock on that door.

The house we moved out of 7 yrs. ago recently went on the market and they had an open house.  I went and walked around.  It's the house where all my kids grew up and as I walked thru, I got very emotional.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 8 years ago


Wow, what an awesome story - thanks for sharing it, and yes, it brought tears to my eyes!  Let's all pray that Pete stays safe....


Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Nice story, I'm suggesting.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) over 8 years ago

What a great story, Thanks for sharing, we live in an amazing country.

Posted by Mary Macy, Top Agents Atlanta Metro (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) over 8 years ago

This is an amazing story. It reminds me of the song that Miranda Lambert sings called, "The House That Built Me."  Every time I hear the song I tear up. What a great experience that must've been for you both.

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) over 8 years ago

John, As someone who has served his country, I want to thank you for what you did, 40+ years ago, people did not welcome us into their homes, I can see you know what they did, Thank you for being kind to those who protect our greatest gift, REEDOM.

Posted by Ted J. Macy (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) over 8 years ago

Frank & Karen - I really felt this story needed telling. When all you hear about and read every day is bad news, I'm happy to know a real American who is serving our country and protecting the freedom of each and every one of us. Sure hope you have a great week.

Hi Sharon - I guess the phrase, "Home is where the heart is" really rings true. Loved the story you just told about the yard sale with your sister. Maybe you could expand that into a post here. What kind of society has taught us to fear walking up to the house where we grew up and asking for a chance to revisit our childhood memories? Take Rick with you, but by all means, go and do it. Nothing is lost that makes a memory.

Hi Kat - Thank you so much! If you get a chance to go to Pete's fb page, you'll see he bets the odds, and puts his faith and trust in God. I have every confidence we will see him when he returns in September.

Hi Kenneth -  Thank you for dropping by. For me, this was the honor of a lifetime and words can't express what it means to me. Thank you so much for suggesting this post.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Hi Mary - I feel so honored by the response to this post and I am happy to meet some folks I have not had the chance to meet yet at AR. We live in the greatest country in the world and I thank each and every person who has served in our military.

Hi Kristi - Thank you for stopping by. Miranda Lambert's song captures the feeling we both shared on July 3rd when Pete drove up to our house. I actually put a link to the video in my response to Cindy Westfall,  my dear friend at #16. Hope you have an awesome week.

Hi Ted - Thank you and thanks again to Mary for showing your support. I am proud of our military and the men and women who ensure our freedom. You are so right, 40 or so years ago, things were different. Thats one of the reasons I became a Pease Greeter. Follow the link in my first response in #5 if you would like to find out more about this organization. Best wishes!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Sharing love and hospitality warmed the hearts of those directly involved, as well as people like me on the other side of the USA in Silicon Valley. Thanks for posting this & God bless America! Keep up your ministry at Pease, the world needs more people like you AND needs to know people like you exist.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Michelle - Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, God bless America and all who have served to keep this country free. We should be due for a flight at Pease most any time now. Hope you have a great week!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John, thank you for sharing this. I saw this because of my friend Dru Bloomfield on Facebook.


God bless you and your business in New Hampshire.

Posted by Bubba over 8 years ago

Hi Bubba - Thank you for coming by and reading this post. Yes, Dru is one of my friends here on ActiveRain and Facebook as well. Hope you have a terrific day!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago


You started my day off right!  Thanks for your generous heart, and for publishing the story.  Your Mom raised you right.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 8 years ago

Hi Mike - This was, without a doubt, one of the happiest things I have written about. Chris and I, and all of Pete's family and friends are praying for a safe return...and now I'm proud to add friends from ActiveRain and Facebook to that list. Thank you...Yes, I had a great family growing up!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

I dont know if i would have just let anyone in, but if i knew he was for real i certainly would. That is great you are a Pease greeter. It is something i always wanted to do. How can i get more info?

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing that moving story with us. Pay it Forward

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 8 years ago

John what a beautiful and touching story.  Thanks so much for sharing this.  Your act of kindness was rare and very special.  Hope you have a blessed week!  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) over 8 years ago

John, a very neat story and a reminder that there are far more great people in the world than those who are not so great. Thanks for sharing the story of your generosity.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) over 8 years ago

Wow!  What a great story to share, cool memory for you to have, and how neat that he did that for you!  

Posted by Laura Sargent (Carolina One Real Estate) over 8 years ago

John, a very touching story and a nice memento from Pete that I am sure you and your wife will cherish.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago


Thank you very much for sharing this very moving storing. It is certainly rare in this day and age to hear a such a story of kindness. The lack thereof is most definitely a huge part of what's wrong with our world.

Posted by Scotti Jowers, Realtor - West Monroe, Louisiana Homes for Sale (CENTURY 21 Shackelford French, Search West Monroe Homes ) over 8 years ago

Hi Scott - Thanks for stopping by. I knew from Pete's handshake he was the "genuine article." Never a doubt. This link will take you to the Pease Greeters home page. On that page, you will see a photo of Flight 400. We were there. I had just joined for Flight 398 a few days earlier and I was so moved by that experience, I wrote my first blog here on AR. There are people who have never missed a flight, no matter the time of day or night, and many drive well over an hour to get there. It would be a pleasure to have you join this group! I promise, you won't forget your first flight.

Good Morning Harry - Thanks for finding this post. I had hoped it would stir the hearts of my readers as it did for Chris and I. I don't care what the headlines say, we live in a great country!!!


Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John - that's a wonderful story.   You are truly an inspiration to all. I had had a chance to go and visit my home where I grew up when it was recently put on the market for sale. It was a home that my father built for us with his grandfather. My mother who is 87 was here and timing was just right for us to go and visit on broker open day here. We went in and of course a flood of memories ensued as well. Not quite the same as your story but I can imagine what he went through going through your home from room to room. It certainly gives me hope when I here stories like this. Very touching story John and thanks for sharing this with the community. 

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 8 years ago

Wow, what a wonderful story John.  I am so glad you included the photos, I can understand why you and Chris are so happy.  This is truly special.  It makes my heart swell with pride and a little teary too.

Posted by Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group, Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate (Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates) over 8 years ago

John, you're so right, I did read with tears in my eyes.  What a kind gesture.  I too know how much that meant to him as I did the same thing.  I was with my parents and we visited the house my Dad built in Hobart IN.  I just wanted to look over the fence in the back yard and didn't want to alarm the owners so I knocked on the door. 

An elderly lady answered and I explained that my Dad built the house, and it's where I grew up.  Excitedly, she motioned for us to come in saying her husband always wanted to meet the man who built the house...  He and my Dad where chatting away about why he did this or that.  It wasn't a very big home, only a 2 bedroom bungalow, but I cried through the whole house!!!!  Memories flooded my whole being!  Thanks for sharing your experience, we just never know...


Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 8 years ago

Great story, John. Thanks for sharing it with us and for all your support to those that support us!

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) over 8 years ago



Thank You for sharing such a touching story. I am proud to know that another Realtor has shown the way for everyone.No matter how small the action it is truly appraciated by our military communtiy

Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) over 8 years ago

Well, I just don't know what to say. Thats odd for an Irishman. I had no idea this post would receive such a response. ActiveRain is a wonderful, caring community.

So thank you, Sherri, Cal, Laura, Michael and Scotti for your kind words and sentiment, and Lisa & Bob for sharing your story about returning to your childhood home built by your father and great grandfather. What powerful ties you must have had to that home!

This is the flag that Pete flew on that mission in Afghanistan:

American Flag

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Cool post! I was the person who knocked on the door a couple of years ago. After my mom's death, we sold the family home. Unfortunately, time and her illness had taken it's toll and the house was in serious need of repair and loving on. After the sale, I hadn't been to that city in four or more years, so my husband and I drove to the street, just wanting to catch a glimpse.

The big tree I had climbed all my life was gone, but the house looked great from the curb. We parked across the street and just looked for a few minutes. When I saw the curtains twitch I knew the new folks were worried about why we were looking. We hopped out and introduced ourselves. They invited us in. The house looked great. My mom would have been so pleased.

The new owners opening those doors to me again helped heal a wounded part of my heart.

Thanks for doing the same for someone else.

Posted by Deb McNeill, Fort Worth Real Estate (Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx) over 8 years ago

John, this is the BEST blog I have read in weeks, it makes you feel good to the toes!       This must make you feel so good, that you allowed a perfect stranger to come into your home.      I will visit his FB page!   

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 8 years ago

Yep...I'm crying!  What an AMAZING post!!  Thank you for sharing!  Most importantly for pointing out what is GREAT in the world, and the love and respect we should ALL be showing eachother!!

Posted by Angelina Clarke (Builder Services Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago
What a powerful story on so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Where is the tissue?
Posted by Paula McDonald ~ GRI, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 8 years ago

Still speechless! Rene, Pamela, Bruce, Laura and Deb, thank you all for stopping by and sharing heartfelt pieces of your lives. A blog is dynamic, that is, it isn't just about the written post...the comments give it life and are really the other half of the post. I thank everyone who has given this post a little life and a little of him/herselves!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Joan - Thank you so much! I do hope you get a chance to visit Pete's Facebook page. He's a long way from home right now and I'm sure he would really appreciate hearing from home!

Angelina - I completely agree with you! Love, respect support and courage are just a few of the things that really are, GREAT in this world. Thank you!

Paula - It really affected Chris and I as well. We are looking for a place in our home to display the Flag and plaque we are putting together. God bless this wonderful country!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago
Wow...that is simply an amazing story. You never know what will happen when you extend kindness to a stranger.
Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 8 years ago

Wow...that is quite a story!   Isn't it funny how life hands us little gifts like this!    I love it and know that a friendship was formed that will last for a long long while!

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) over 8 years ago

Not enough people like you around!  great story, great!!  How honoring to have that be a part of history.

Posted by Glenn Freezman (Nucazza LLP & Home Buying Evolution, & Family Abstract, Inc) over 8 years ago

You're right! I'm crying! I'm headed over to Pete's Facebook page RIGHT NOW! THANK you for sharing this beautiful story. Thank you and Pete for your service to our great country!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago
I sent him a message on FB! :)))
Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago

This is a great story John. How nice for Neil that you recognized the name and were not concerned about inviting a stranger into your home. And what a lovely surprise you received in return. I hope you continue to keep in touch!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 8 years ago


This is a truely wonderful story.  I grew up in a non-Military town but currently live in the Hampton Roads, VA community, which has all the military bases close by.  I am in deep gratitude to what our miltary forces and family are going through.  Your consideration and this tribute is really hear warming.

Vicki Marsh

Posted by Vicki Marsh (BHHS Florida Realty) over 8 years ago

Without a doubt a very touching story.  These kind of encounters are few and far between and we definitely appreciate that you shared this with us today.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 8 years ago

John,  What a beautiful story and it certainly brought tears to my eyes.  I can only imagine how it made him feel being able to see his childhood home once again.  What a wonderful experience and how very thoughtful of him to fly a flag in your honor.  It's so good to see that YES, there are indeed so many wonderful people in our world.  I'm off to post a Thank You on his FB page.  :)   

Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt warm fuzzy. 

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) over 8 years ago
What a wonderful and moving story - you are right... I cried. Kathy
Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 8 years ago

Well it brought tears to my eyes...  I'm going to try to share this with a friend of mine in Francestown, NH.  He is also a pilot.  Thanks very much for sharing!!

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) over 8 years ago

This is really a great story John. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.Just what I needed this morning.

Posted by Cameron Wilson, The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ (Labrum Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Wonderful and touching story. I have Google mapped one of our childhood homes in Idaho Falls ID and noticed the creek that we crossed to get to our street was gon which was sad as we used to intertube down it.  But I noticed the small tree we planted in our yard that was myheight at 9 years old, could now hold a multi-room tree house.  It brought tears to my eyes as did this. :)

Posted by Andi Grant, Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA! (310-508-4354 | over 8 years ago

John, that's a great story.  Thank you so much for sharing with us.  God bless Pete, and God bless all of the men and women who wear the uniform!! 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 8 years ago

Christine - I had no apprehension about Pete. I think most strangers are just friends you haven't met. Thank you!

Deborah - When I think of the sacrifice Pete has made along with all of our soldiers for this country, I am absolutely humbled. Makes my contributions seem very small by comparison. Thank you!

Hi Glenn - Thanks for stopping by and visiting a fellow ACRE. For a while, I was the only one in NH. I need to get more involved in the Council.

Hi Joni - Thank you so much and thank you for visiting Pete fb page. I'm sure he will appreciate it! Saw you got some much needed rain last night. I've been praying for you!

Hi Anne - I'm sure we will stay in touch and confident we will get together on his safe return stateside. Thank you!

Vicki - Our soldiers really need to know that we support them. And we need to take better care of them when they come home. I'm working on that by being a Pease Greeter. We all have to make a difference.

Eileen - I am at a total loss to explain how so many folks here at AR found this post, but I am very grateful for the support and all the precious comments. Thank you!

Elizabeth - And a warm thank you to you for visiting Pete's fb page. Its so important to focus on the positives in life. Hope you have a great week!

Hi Kathy - Thank you for finding this post and visiting. I think I cried when I saw your last Facebook food photo post and put on 3 pounds just looking at it ;-)

Pam - I hope you are able to share it with your friend. We have been guests at The Inn at Crotched Mountain many times and have been friends with the owners, John & Rose Perry for years.

Hi Cameron - Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad this post helped you start the week off on a positive note!

Andi - Going home can surely be a bittersweet experience. Sounds like you lived in several places in your youth. Thank you for sharing a bit if it here! Hope you have a great week!

Mike - Thank you for all your positive wishes for Pete and all our soldiers!


Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Hi John,

I'm a newcomer to Portsmouth living with my new wife Ann who I'm sure you know or have heard of, we're both with RE/MAX Coast To Coast.

We were out at Pease over the weekend for the air show.

I'm sure we'll cross paths soon; that was a great story.


Posted by Jim Lee, Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH (RE/MAX Shoreline) over 8 years ago

Hi Jim - Thanks for stopping by. Welcome to the Seacoast and Portsmouth! There is so much to do in Portsmouth, like the air show. I saw them enough times over our house, I didn't feel the need to get locked up in the traffic this event generated. You were in good company with many of my friends who did go! Great dining there too. Best wishes to you both at RE/MAX Coast to Coast and congratulations on your wedding!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Great Post,  very touching story, God Bless our Troops and God Bless AMERICA!!! And God Bless you for welcoming Pete in Your Home!



Posted by Barbara Flannery, "Homes for Everyone In London Kentucky" (USA Realty,Inc.) over 8 years ago

Hi Barbara - Thank you so much! Yes, God bless our troops and everyone serving overseas to help protect our Freedom!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Awesome story John. Good for you for opening the door to your house and his heart. Well done.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

John- I've had the same experience with my childhood home and it meant the world to me. Walking through the door took me right back to being 7 years old again. Obviously in his actions of sending you the letter and flag, it meant a great deal to him as well.

Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) over 8 years ago

Hi John~ You have another crier on your hands! What a touching story, and the gift you received is simply remarkable. I read as many comments as I could and I am wondering if you are going to install a flag post in your front yard! 

I have had two homes with a lighted flag post in front, and can tell you from experience, it is a jubilant feeling to turn down your street and recognize your home by the flag flying free!

Thank you for sharing this post, and congratulation on the feature!!!

Best regards from Seattle,

Posted by Judi Boad (ACCURATE REALTY GROUP) over 8 years ago

John, what a touching post. When you open your hearts to people and opportunities instead of always being suspicious, you are sometimes blessed in ways you can't imagine. You've just proven that again. Thank you for sharing your story.

Posted by Shannon Jones, Long Beach CA Real Estate (The Shannon Jones Team) over 8 years ago

Hi Bryant - Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Opening the door for this man was easy. He has enriched our lives and opened our hearts. God bless you and your family.

Margie - So glad you had the opportunity to visit your childhood home and share the same experience that Pete did. The Flag, the letter and the special presentation are treasures to us now! Thank you.

Hi Judi - Thank you for coming by! A flag pole is certainly a consideration and I would love to see a flag waving in our yard, but not for this particular flag. I see this one occupying a place of honor in our home where it will live to a fine old age along with us, hopefully!

Shannon - My Chris and I decided long ago, we will not live in fear of what might happen. No hostages here :-) Thank you!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

What an amazing story John.  Thank you for sharing it with us.  I have to admit, I was a bit choked up while reading it!

Posted by Bill Somerset, ABR, e-PRO - Realtor - NH Real Estate Agent (Re/Max Realty Group) over 8 years ago

 Wonderful story.

When we get back to Houston, I always want to stop at our first house but never have.

If you google our old neighborhood, 4 of the lots are vacant -- one of which was my favorite neighbor.  I wonder what happened. Hope to learn one day.




Posted by Faye Y. Taylor, Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni (StepStone Realty, LLC ) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.  I wonder if the Kelleys next door might be distant relatives.

 Blooming for you!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 8 years ago

Wow I reblogged, awesome and most touching thing I have read in forever on Activerain. 

You are blessed !! 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 8 years ago

John, what a sweet story!  I've had people show up at Open Houses to check out their childhood digs, but nothing like your story. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hi John, this has touched my heart this evening.  You were so generous with your time and what a gift as well as memory.  Blessings to you!

Posted by Judith Parker, CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC (ProStead Realty) over 8 years ago

Well, the story was no big deal until I got to his thank you card. Who the hell sends thank you cards now a day? ;-)


Thanks for sharing. Very touching.

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) over 8 years ago

Hi John - What a wonderful story - thanks so much for sharing it here! It's delightful to know how much joy you gave by this simple act.

Posted by Judy Klem, Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties (Transition Stage LLC) over 8 years ago

John -- Outstanding story! You have indeed given him the world and an experience he will cherish the rest of his life.  Just awesome.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 8 years ago

This is a tear jerking moment and such a memorable experience. There are few articles on active rain that is so touching.

Posted by Carolyn Nelson, Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert! (Realty One Carolina, LLC) over 8 years ago

John, that is a great story. As you were nearing the end and the top of the letter from Pete appeared with the flag, my first thought was that his last trip didn't end well for him. That was a very special act of kindness you extended, Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

John I did visit the facebook page.  Great story. Thanks for sharing

Posted by Susan Gaieski, Director for Social Media & Technology (Water Pointe Realty Group) over 8 years ago


This has got to be one of the greatest stories ever told in the RAIN. Who knew an unselfish act combined with blind faith would lead to such a beautiful outcome. You took in a stranger into your home and changed his life and yours. This was meant to be for all the right reasons. What you and Chris did for Pete was a gift that even you couldn't imagine at the time it was happening. What you gave to Pete was a treasured memory straight from the heart.

I can't even imagine what you felt on the day that package arrived and how elated with joy mixed with emotions you must have felt. A soldier is a brother for life, and I know, this isn't the end of the story.

Your unselfish act of supporting our Troops as a Pease Greeter is noble and kind. You and Pete are true American heroes in different ways.

May God Bless and keep you, your family, Pete, his family, and all our Soldiers out of harms way.



Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 8 years ago

Great Story. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Jesse Madison, List For Less...Sell for More | 1% List Fee! (One Point Plus Real Estate) over 8 years ago

What a touching story!!  A few years ago I stopped to take pictures of my grandparent's home in Michigan.  As I was walking up the long drive, the new owner was in the driveway so I thought I'd better tell him why I was there.  When I told him that this had been my grandparent's home he said, "Mildred?" to which I replied, "Yes, I am Mildred's granddaughter." 

As it turned out the new owners had been neighbors but had downsized to this new home.  He too invited me me (poor Mary, his wife, was still in her nightgown/housedress).  He shared some things they had changed and others they had left. 

I took some wonderful pictures to treasure and have for my scrapebook and share with my family.  We know that when they sell, which they were likely to do in just a few years, the home would be torn down and a new larger home built.  So this opportuntiy was very timely.  However with the downturn in the housing market, maybe the house is still there.  I'll have to check it out on the next drive trhough Michigan.

I just went to northern IN for my HS reunion and drove by my childhood home which my dad and gradfather had built.  I took pictures but haven't knocked on the door to see what changes have been made.  Maybe next time...

Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories I had of visiting my childhood homes.  What memories you created and it sounds like a new relationship too.

Posted by Beth Paterson, CRMP, NMLS #342859 (Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, LLC, NMLS #1790592) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story. I was moved by your and Pete Martin's actions. America is a great country with great people. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 8 years ago

John - That's a wonderful story, and many people never would have allowed him inside.  You did, and improved both of your lives by doing so.  What a terrific gift you have given each other.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 8 years ago

Bill - Thanks for finding this post and stopping by! No shortage of emotions over here.

Faye - So much has changed in Houston. I hope you do get the chance to find out about the old neighborhood. Thank you.

Hi Roy - I guess I wondered too. Buzz (Francis) and Marion Kelley have lived right here a really long time. Great people, great neighbors. Have to be with a name like Kelley.

Missy - Thank you...and thank you for the reblog. Nice to see you!

Patricia - Thank you too! The open houses can certainly bring a variety of people.

Judith - This certainly has made a special memory for us, and I'm sure for Pete too! Thank you.

Greg - Actually, I send many thank you cards because so few do it nowadays. I love seeing one of my cards stuck to the refrigerator when I stop by someone's house. Kind of like the magnetic calendars.

Hi Judy - I am happy to have touched so many hearts here on AR. Hope you week goes well!

Barbara - Thank you. We are certainly looking forward to a return visit when Pete returns safely home!


Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Looks like I'm late to the party, John. Congrats on the feature for this heart-warming narrative. What a great thing to have happen.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

That is just an awesome story.  It sounds like the beginning of a great new friendship.  I helped my dad sell his childhood home and when he and I were touring a neighbor through the house (they were interested in buying and renting just down the street), he teared up telling them about the house.  I had never seen my father cry before.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Carolyn - Thank you for dropping by. I'm glad you found this article touching and it clearly resonated. Hope you have great week!

Ed - Nice to see you again. Sorry, I didn't mean to alarm with the way I structured the graphics in this post! Most assuredly, we are confident is Pete's safe return in September. It was a very humbling experience. Thank you.

Susan - Thank you so much for visiting Pete's FB page. I know it will mean a lot to him to know folks at home are supporting his efforts.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Offering kindness to never know how much it can mean to someone. Great story!

Posted by Rhonda Fee - REALTOR®, @ Aspire Realty Services (Luxury Property Agent, Home Sales, Relocation) over 8 years ago

Hi Patricia - Thank you for kind words. I love this, "A soldier is a brother for life." Such a wonderful happenstance that Pete stopped at exactly the same time we were about to pull out of the driveway. That coincidence made a memory for life.

Jesse - Thank you so much and you are very welcome. Just loved writing this post!

Beth - Thank you for sharing your stories about your grandparents home in Michigan and your childhood home in IN. Its amazing the bond we feel with our childhood home. Hope you have a great week, and next time you visit near your childhood home in IN, stop in and knock on the door. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Hi Pamela - Nice to see you. Thank you for stopping by. I agree, America is a great country with great people. Have a great week!


Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John - that was a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing that with all of us!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Christine - I'm still overwhelmed by the response I have received to this post. Always a pleasure when you visit. Thank you!

Toni - You, my friend, are never to late to any party I have! I'm glad you liked the story. Thank you, and thanks again for posting on FB! Hope your week is super.

Justin - Ties to a childhood home is a huge thing for most people, especially when they grow up and move out of town or to another state. Obviously your father had some very big emotions with his home. That was an important moment. Thank you for stopping by!

Hi Rhonda - Showing kindness to a stranger can pay off and it certainly did in this case. Thank you so much!

Hi Barbara-Jo - Thank you for your visit! Writing this post was one of the easiest things I have done on AR. I appreciate everyone's comments. Hope your week is going well!


Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John - what an incredible and moving story.  How precious it is and what a lifelong memory you have.  Thank you so much for sharing. 

Posted by Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996, Military Mtg Specialist - 866-960-9115 VA FHA USDA (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp Louisiana NMLS#2289 Equal Housing Lender) over 8 years ago

Hi Louise - So glad you found this post! I am so humbled by this experience and appreciate everyone overseas who is protecting our freedom. Hope your week is going well. Thank you.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Heck of a great story John and you got quite a keepsake too. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning. You sound like a great guy to do business with.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

Hi Wayne - Glad you found your way to this post! Thank you. Pete's gifts are so appreciated, and I feel so honored. I support all our soldiers and Pete is a great example of dedication to America. If I can help you in any way, you just let me know and I would return the favor anytime, Wayne. Hope your week is going well!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Such and amazing story John... Talk about being at the right place at the right time!!! If he would have waited 30 more seconds.. Possibly even 10 or 15 you would have just passed eachother by!!!

Posted by Stacey Smith, Your Orange County Beach Cities Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Stacey - Thanks for coming by. A real coincidence indeed...and where he had made that trip once before and missed us, just seems like it was in the cards this time. Sure hope you have a great weekend coming up!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John, this is an emotional story. Sounds like your good deed will be remembered by Pete forever. I hope Pete and other brave men and women serving our country will return home safely. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us. 

Posted by Elizabeth Byrne, Arlington Virginia Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Elizabeth - I had hoped you would like this story. This was truly a once in a lifetime event for all of us. We too are looking forward to the safe return of all the folks protecting our freedom. Hope you enjoy the weekend!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

John ~ what a wonderful story!  You made me smile inside and out! 

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 8 years ago

Hi Dawn - I know you are pretty much ready for a smile right about now and I'm happy to have written the story that did it. God bless you, your mom and all your family. You've got a lot of friends right here and we are all praying for you!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

That was a really great story and not at all what I expected.  I'm sure you will cherish that flag and the new friendship you have forged.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 8 years ago

Hi Georgina - So glad you found this post and stopped by! Yes, we are very proud to have received this flag. I'm certain we will see Pete when he comes home again in September. Sure hope you have a great week!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago
John, what an awesome story. It's obvious this meant a great deal to Pete.
Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Hi Tammie - I guess I always meant to write a sequel to this blog, but never figured out how to make more of a story out of it. The good news is Pete came home from Afghanistan safe and sound and did stop by for a visit. It was an early Sunday morning in September and we were glad to see each other. He was happy to be home. He had picked up a temporary job flying a corporate jet until he goes back to Afghanistan in November. Hope we get to see him before he goes. Thank you for finding this post & sure hope you enjoy your holiday weekend!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Hi Dedra - Thank you for finding your way here! Goosebumps are great too! This was such a memorable event for all of us that it was easy to write this blog...and flattered that it was re-posted by so many here on AR. Sometimes people walk into our lives and we don't know why. I am so happy to have this opportunity to highlight an everyday hero, and all the men and women who proudly serve our country and protect our freedom. Hope you have a great week!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 8 years ago

Great story, a blast from the past.

I'll help clean up this spam.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 7 years ago

Hi Pete ~ Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post.




Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 7 years ago

John: I am very pleased you shared this heart-warming story with us. It certainly shows us that you can never tell who you will meet and when, and therefore, each day should be approached with a mind open to the possibilities that  an enriching experience will be the reward. Thank you again.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc.) over 5 years ago

Hi Norman ~ This has to be one of my favorite life experiences. Happily, it doesn't end here. Pete no longer flies missions in Afganistan. He accepted a job flying for the Kraft Organization and now flies Robert Kraft and the Patriots all over the country. Now residing in Hampton, NH, last week Pete had a visit from his son Luke who lives in Tennessee and brought him by to show Luke where he grew up. Who knows how many generations of Martins we'll show our home to in the future. Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a terrific day!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Good morning John,

Too many would have turned their heads and driven by.

As with stopping to smell the roses we also should acknowledge another stranger once in a while as their is a surprise from each one.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

Oh my gawd, I just cried my eyes out. What a story you've shared. Thank you, and thank you Pete Martin for your service.

Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) over 5 years ago

Hi Raymond ~ Thanks for stopping by. You are absolutely correct. Sometimes we just need to stop and listen.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Hi Chris ~ I wrote this post almost three years ago, but for some wonderful reason, it just came back to life this morning   .  I am happy you were touched by this story, my friend!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Life as it happens....There is no better story...thank you for sharing

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 5 years ago

What a great way to start the day. Living in an area where there are lots of military bases really makes you appreciate this story. And to Pete Martin and the rest of the past and present military members I say Thank You for your service!

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) over 5 years ago

Richie and Bill ~ Thanks for dropping by! We can't thank our men and women in the military enough for their dedication to freedom. Pete has become a dear friend over these past few years. 

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

What a wonderful story and example to us all, John.  Phenomenal!

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 5 years ago

Hi Jason ~ Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by! So glad we were there when Pete wanted to visit. He is an inspiration!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

What a great story!  I know it was a special treat for your new friend!

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 5 years ago

Hi Sybil ~ So glad you found your way to this post! As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I wrote this almost 3 years ago and am astonished (pleasantly) that it has come to life today with a series of new comments. Just the magic of AR I guess! I greatly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Cool.  That nicely plasy out the message, Stars and Stripes forever.

Posted by Jeff Jensen (The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states) over 5 years ago

Very cool experience for all.  I drove past two of my previous homes when I was in the area, and it does stir those old memories and emotions.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 5 years ago

What a heartwarming story, John. And a lifelong memory you have created.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 5 years ago

What a beautful gesture, thank you for sharing your story.

Posted by Joan Congilose, Helping Sellers & Buyers (New Jersey Properties) over 5 years ago

Good to know that all strangers are not crooks or brigands.  It is hard to trust anyone in our state of the nation today.

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) over 5 years ago

Jeff ~ Thanks for stopping by. I wholeheartedly agree...Stars and Stripes forever!

Norma ~ People are connected to their homes by the memories created there. It great to be in an industry where we can help people find homes and make new memories.

Hi Jeff ~ Hope all is well! This post has received 80,000 hits and was reblogged countless times both here and all over the web. It points up the importance we place on friends, homes, memories and the men and women who have served in our military. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to share this story!

Hi Joan ~ Thank you for finding your way to this post. Hope real estate is busy for you in central NJ. I lived in Marlboro for a number of years and loved it there.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Hi Richard ~ A little faith in people can sometimes bring great rewards. I knew by Pete's questions he was genuine and knew the house, so I had little concern. So happy it has turned out to be one of my favorite memories too!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your experience with a total stranger that ended up being a friend. Your home will never be the same knowing the history from one who lived there!

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) over 5 years ago

Hi Sarah & Lester ~ Hope all is well! You are so right. I can't walk past the Lilacs without remembering Pete's dog. LOL!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Hi Will ~ I can't say exactly why we invited Pete to tour his childhood home, other than I choose to look for the good in people. Yes, you can be easily disappointed, but the reward usually outweighs the risk. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) over 5 years ago

Yes, I have tears in my eyes and in my heart and soul. Beautiful story. Going back to our childhood and our treasured memories is a type of a miracle gift - like the gift you gave to the stranger and the gift he returned to you.


Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) over 5 years ago

This is an incredible story, Pete sounds like a great man.

I find it sad that is is now a generally accepted practice to NOT let strangers into your home. 

A perfect example of Hebrews 13:2. "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Posted by Rachel Khoury, Your Wingwoman for Colorado Mortgages (Tailwinds Mortgage) over 5 years ago

What a story, John! Thanks for sharing...

Posted by Frank Iglesias, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor (Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments) over 5 years ago

Great Story!   Reminds me of the first place I lived for a brief time in 1972 when I got back from Nam.  I still drive by that area and always hope I can catch someone outside to ask them if there is still a toilet and kitchenette in their garage!     Not as bad as it sounds, only stayed there a few months and rent was $20/week!  Had to go thru a breezeway and knock on the door of the house to use the shower.  Fun times back then. lol

Posted by Bill Dean, William Dean - Broker, Salesperson (Haggerty Team St. Louis, Mo.) over 5 years ago


What an amazing story. Blessings to you all.

Posted by Wayne L. Brown (Franklin Advantage Inc.) over 5 years ago

Great story - thanks for brightening my day!

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 5 years ago

What an incredible story, John. Thanks so much for sharing! 

Posted by Alicia Clarke, Putting the Social in Marketing over 5 years ago

John, I absolutely love this story and it brought tears to my eyes. I will certainly visit Pete's Facebook page to thank him for his service. I would also like to thank you for being a Pease Greeter - what a wonderful thing to do!

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 30 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 5 years ago

Made my eyes leak...

Posted by Cheryl Lucas over 4 years ago

Thank you Pete, for your service and dedication to our Country and it's Flag. Chris, a life long Friend and John, a Facebook Friend, are indeed two extraordinary people who show, by example, their love of Community and Country.God Bless All!

Posted by Dr. Peter p. Audette over 3 years ago


Posted by JnyCSmWgqZlUpHfu 3 months ago


Posted by TKwQkCJnqLxt 3 months ago