104-year-old veteran goes viral with tear-jerking Valentine's Day request: 'I'm still here'
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.
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"[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 letter. 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