104-Year-old WWII Vet Receives Thousands of Cards for Valentine’s Day

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Diane Wright opened the door of an apartment at The Oaks at Inglewood, the assisted care facility in Stockton where she is the executive director. Inside, three people busily went through postal trays crammed with envelopes near a table heaped with handmade gifts, military memorabilia, blankets, quilts and candy.

Operation Valentine has generated a remarkable outpouring of support from around the world for retired U.S. Marine Maj. Bill White. Earlier this month, a resident at The Oaks, Tony Walker, posted a request on social media to send Valentine’s Day cards to the 104-year-old World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. Walker believed White would enjoy adding the cards to his collection of memorabilia. The response has been greater than anyone ever thought possible.

“I wasn’t expecting anything like this,” White said. “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can’t get over it. “Up until about a week or two ago, I was leading a quiet life. … Now all of a sudden all hell has broken loose.”