This 104-year-old veteran is receiving Valentine's Day cards from all over the country

Posted at 9:09 AM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 09:09:02-05

A 104-year-old retired WWII U.S. Marine Corps veteran is hoping for more than one valentine this Valentine's Day.

Maj. Bill White, a resident at an assisted living facility in Stockton, California, launched "Operation Valentine" asking to receive Valentine's Day cards from strangers around the world.

"So far White has received cards from all over … he has even received some gifts and packages,” Diane Wright, executive director of The Oaks at Inglewood where White resides, told ABC News. “We are looking at over 2,000 cards so far. Quite astonishing!”

White said he hopes to save all the cards he receives so they can be a part of his history.

White spent 30 years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He received a Purple Heart on Mar. 3, 1946, for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 when he was stationed in Japan.

After returning to the U.S. and starting a family, White worked as a police officer. Throughout his entire life, one of his favorite hobbies has been scrapbooking. Every year, White organized his memories and milestones into binders.

"This started way back," White said. "My mother, parents taught me to conserve and observe memories as much as possible."

Enter the Valentine's Day cards to add his 2020 scrapbook.

Wright said that they never thought White's call out for cards was "going to go viral."

One card reads, "Dear Major Bill White ... Thank you for your service to our country we are proud of your accomplishments and love of country. You are amazing and an inspiration to our Marine who is currently serving."

Besides scrapbooking, White enjoys walking around the community, and playing bingo and cards to keep busy, Wright said. He still wears his Marine uniform that he has had for about 66 years, and he's often visited at the facility by friends from the Marines.

White might be retired, but said he will always be a tough Marine: "They could call me back if they needed me for something."

If you are looking to add to "Operation Valentine" and be a part of White’s history, you can mail valentines to:

Operation Valentine
ATTN: Hold for Maj. Bill White, USMC (Ret.)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207