Veteran Gets 7,000 Valentine’s Day Cards From Strangers
His request for cards went viral. Now love is pouring in from every state in the U.S. – and other countries, too!
A 104-year-old WWII Marine Corps Veteran is going to have an extra special Valentine's Day this year, all thanks to a social media campaign a fellow resident at his nursing home started a month ago.
We first introduced you to William White, or "Major Bill," in a previous Sparkt story: 104-Year Old WWII Vet Wants You To Send Him A Valentine
"Operation Valentine" was a public request for friends and strangers to send the retired major heartfelt greetings to add to his collection of memories, which spans three decades of military service—including a tour in Iwo Jima where he earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded in battle.
While White hoped to get a few dozen cards in the mail, he never expected the 7,000 love letters that were sent to the assisted living facility where he lives in Stockton, CA.
It's just too fantastic," White told Reuters as he looked around at the stacks and boxes of cards that have taken over his apartment.
He's gotten so many pieces of mail that his family had to enlist volunteers to help him open all of them and read him the messages.
So far, White has received cards from people in every U.S. state and several foreign countries. His great-granddaughter recently delivered a stack of handmade cards to him from her fourth grade class.
A lot of the well-wishers thanked White for his service and expressed their sincere gratitude for all veterans, many who died before they got a chance to be honored.
Others had a more personal message, including a woman named Jane who wrote that her grandfather was a U.S. Army paratrooper In World War Two and died in battle. She said if he was still alive, he would be nearly the same age as White.
"I miss him so much," Jane wrote. "By sending you this card, I feel as though I am sending my grandfather a card."
While White has been enjoying all of the attention, he never celebrated Valentine's Day with when his wife of 42 years was alive, so it's all new to him.
"It's something I've never heard of or seen," White said. "All of a sudden here, like a ton of bricks. I'm sort of speechless."
What an inspiring display of kindness. It just goes to show that even though most people who sent cards had never heard of White before, they now have a special place in his lifetime of memories.