By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– A World War II veteran is earning national media attention after his heartwarming Valentine’s Day request went viral.
Maj. Bill White, a 104-year-old Marine Corps veteran living in Stockton, Calif., shared his holiday wish during an interview with Sacramento’s KTXL-TV. As it turns out, the centenarian — who received a Purple Heart for his service — wants nothing more than a basket full of Valentine’s cards.
“I’ll save every one of them like I’ve been saving little things that have come up until right now,” White told KTXL “And they’ll be a personal part of my history.”
White explained to the outlet that he spends a great deal of time scrapbooking — one of his favorite hobbies — which has led to a large collection of mementos that he’d like to improve with a few kindhearted Valentine’s cards.”[scrapbooking] has kept me busy just trying to locate or keep track of what’s happened to me, where, when,” White told KTXL.
And it’s clear he has a long, eventful life to look back on. White received his purple heart while fighting in the infamous Battle of Iwo Jima, a weeks-long struggle during which 7,000 American marines — and more than 20,000 Japanese soldiers — lost their lives.
White was injured when a grenade blew up about six inches in front of his face, earning him his prestigious medal and a discharge from service.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us,” White said. “I’m still here. I’m 104 — can’t complain.”
Now, the veteran spends his time living at a retirement community, where he hopes to soon be receiving a few Valentine’s Day letters. Anyone interested in sending a card to White can do so at the following address:
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207
About 14,000 total pieces of mail, were delivered by the United States Postal Service to The Oaks, where a vacant apartment near White’s has been turned into a makeshift mail room. Over the past couple of months, more than 25,000 Valentines have been received. In little more than a week, more than 20,000 cards and easily 200 packages have arrived and more are delivered every day.
Article originally posted in Veteran’s Easy Access Program ReadBack February 2020