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Scrapbooking veteran gets a lot of love

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/24/20, 11:25 am

Retired Maj. Bill White is 104 years old and has a lot of cutting and pasting to do. The Marine veteran from Stockton, Calif., asked for people to send him valentines to add to his scrapbook collection. In a little more than a week, he has received more than 20,000 cards and 200 packages in the mail—and they keep coming. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this,” White told The Record in Stockton. “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can’t get over it.”

What is his service history? White served in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Nearly 7,000 Marines and more than 20,000 Japanese fighters died in the bloody battle that lasted five weeks. The centenarian said his rule for a long and positive life is to “just keep breathing.”

Dig deeper: If you’re interested in sending a card to White, you can mail it to Operation Valentine; ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret); The Oaks at Inglewood; 6725 Inglewood Ave.; Stockton, CA 95207.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 01/24/2020 04:14 pm

    I sent one of those Valentines to Maj. White. I figure living to 104 is an accomplishment by itself, on top of his other adventures. 

    By the way, I’m not sure I would say anyone ever “earned” a Purple Heart. That is the medal you are awarded for getting wounded, which of course hardly anyone does intentionally. 

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Sat, 01/25/2020 11:57 am

    Good point about the Purple Heart. We have edited that part of the article. Thank you.