A 104-year-old Marine Corps veteran who fought during World War II said he’s “floored” to have received about 200,000 Valentine’s cards from all over the world for his growing collection of keepsakes.
In January, a friend of Maj. Bill White started a social media campaign named “Operation Valentine” that aims to collect Valentine’s Day cards for the centenarian veteran.
White currently lives at an assisted living facility in Stockton, Calif. and says scrapbooking is his favorite hobby. Along with a number of his military medals, including a Purple Heart awarded for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, White told the reporters that he enjoys keeping his scrapbooks and mementos organized.
According to reporters from different news outlets, the spirited vet hoped to grow his collection of keepsakes this year, with 100 Valentine’s Day cards in honor of his 100 years and was surprised to receive hundreds of thousands of love letters.
On Wednesday night, Maj. White told host Martha MacCallum on “The Story” that he received over 200, 000 Valentine’s Day cards from several well-wishers before Feb. 14.
White told the program’s host:
“It just floored me, this is something that has never happened to me before in my life, and I doubt this will ever happen again!”
According to reports, White received so much mail that his family has already recruited volunteers to help him open the letters and read them.
Though the spirit of Valentine’s Day certainly struck the veteran straight to his heart this year, White revealed he never experienced celebrating the holiday in such a big way before, even when his wife of 42 years was still alive.
He said as he graciously accepts the love that the world gave him:
“It’s something I’ve never heard of or seen. All of a sudden here, like a ton of bricks. I’m sort of speechless.”