Why a 104-year-old US Marine has 70,000 reasons to smile this Valentine’s Day
14 February 2020 at 4:52 pm
A World War II hero has won the hearts of the nation
US Marine Corps veteran William White has proved it’s never too late to find love, celebrating his first Valentine’s Day at the ripe old age of 104.
Major White – who lives in an assisted living facility in Stockton, California – started receiving a deluge of Valentine’s Day cards after a fellow resident launched a social media campaign called “Operation Valentine”.
While the goal was to receive 100 cards, the campaign soon went viral, leaving White with around 70,000 cards from people in every US state and even some from overseas.
The sheer volume of mail has led to the enlistment of volunteers to help open the cards and read them to White, a World War II veteran who was injured in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Many of the cards not only offer praise to White for his military service, but also to the many US veterans who died while serving their country.
White admitted to Reuters that he never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, despite being married for 42 years before his wife died.
“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.”