Why this 104-year-old veteran is asking strangers for Valentine's Day cards

Making of handmade Valentine greeting card from felt. Children's DIY, hobby concept, gift with your own hands. Valentine's Day decoration
Bill wants you to send him a Valentine's Day card. Photo: Getty

After seeing the devastation of war, this 104-year-old Marine Corps veteran is using a holiday dedicated to love to create new beautiful memories — and he wants the public’s help.

Major Bill White is asking for Valentine’s Day cards this year, from people across the globe.

Bill, who served in World War II, spends most of his days hanging out with friends in California and scrapbooking. It’s a hobby he loves so much that his home contains a bookshelf filled with collected items and scrapbooks of his memories in order by year.

“It’s kept me busy just trying to locate or keep track of what's happened to me, where, when,” Bill told KTXL.

Bill not only survived the deadly Battle of Iwo Jima on March 3, 1945, he was also awarded the coveted Purple Heart for his bravery and went on to do 30 years of active duty.

With so many stories to tell, the WWII veteran wants to expand his collection of memories on Valentine’s Day — and says he plans to cherish them.

“I'll save every one of them like I've been saving little things that have come up until right now and they'll be a personal part of my history,” Bill explained.

Though collecting memories can keep a 104-year-old busy, White said that his secret to a long life is even simpler: “Just keep breathing,” he advised.

Diane Wright, the executive director of the Oaks at Inglewood Assisted Living — where White lives — tells Yahoo Lifestyle that so far, the former Marine has received about 500 cards as well as gifts.

Veteran Bill White receives cards and gifts for Valentine's Day
Maj. Bill White receives cards and gifts for Valentine's Day. Photo: Supplied/Diane Wright

“We all are extremely surprised by the response,” Diane says. “The Major is overwhelmed, he keeps saying, ‘I don’t know what happened?’ [And] to keep him from being too overwhelmed we are helping him with opening the cards and gifts as well as screening for inappropriate items.”

Diane expressed her appreciation for those that have showed an outpouring of support for the retired Marine.

“I’m feeling blessed to see the good in all those who took the time to send a card or gift,” Diane says. “I have spent my 30-plus-year career in Senior Living and I’ve never witnessed this outpouring of love and support, and it is greatly deserved to be spent on Major Bill White.”

For anyone is interested in sending Bill White a card for Valentine’s Day they can mail them to this address:

Operation Valentine

ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)

The Oaks at Inglewood

6725 Inglewood Ave.

Stockton, CA 95207

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