A World War II veteran who served in the Marine Corps has a simple request for this year’s Valentine’s Day – to receive plenty of cards during the widely-celebrated occasion.
Remember the time when we used to make scrapbooks?
Given that we live in modern times, this method of keeping track of our life’s best memories might seem extremely outdated. After all, this tech-savvy generation has access to social media, web-based storage, and all the other internet-based tools where they can document and keep all the highlights of their lives.
But for Maj. Bill White, a 104-year-old veteran who served in the Marine Corps, keeping things classic is still the best way to go.
White has lived a life full of unforgettable experiences, and he gets to keep all these special memories through the art of scrapbooking. The California native has collected mementos from the extraordinary events in his lifetime and filled scrapbooks with them, which he places in a bookshelf organized by year.
Although his collection is already huge, the spirited veteran wishes to expand it further. So for this year’s Valentine’s Day, White is asking the public to send him a card during the occasion.
“I’ll save every one of them like I’ve been saving little things that have come up until right now and they’ll be a personal part of my history,” he told CNN affiliate KTXL.
Having spent 30 years on active duty, White has been through a number of extraordinary experiences.
Among his many medals, there is one in particular that he is most proud of – his Purple Heart. He earned the badge of honor for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima on March 3, 1945 – a bloody battle that killed nearly 7,000 US Marines and over 20,000 Japanese fighters.
“When I was wounded, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. A grenade blow up about 6 inches from me,” White recalled. “The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us.”
The injuries he sustained from the war took him off the battlefield, but he recovered and enjoyed a long military career after.
54 years after retirement, White says that his fighting spirit has never wavered.
“I’m still here. I’m 104. Can’t complain,” he said.
The oldest living U.S. Marine spends his days at his assisted living facility in Stockton, California. He keeps himself busy by dining with his friends and working on his scrapbooks, which has become his favorite hobby.
“It’s kept me busy just trying to locate or keep track of what’s happened to me, where, when,” he explained.
White says the secret to his long and happy life is simple: “Just keep breathing.”
“I can’t think of anything else. I can give you all sorts of ideas and suggestions but if you’re not breathing, they don’t mean anything,” he said.
Watch the video below to learn more about White and his incredible life story.
Make White’s Valentine’s Day a little sweeter by sending him a card. You can mail it to the address below:
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave
Stockton, CA 95207